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Full text of "Zofloya; Or, The Moor"

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*•£ 




BODLEIAN LIBRARY 

The gift of 

Miss Emma E I. Dunston 




n(m k 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



ZOFLO Y A; 

OR, 

THE MOOR: 

A ROMANCE 

OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. 

IN THREE VOLUMES. 

CHARLOTTE DACRE, 

BETTER INOWM AS 

ROSA MATILDA, 

AUTHOR OF THE NUN OF ST. OMBRS, HOURS OF SOLITUDE, kc 



VOL. II. 



These shall tfre fury passions tear ■ 

< COLLINS. 

L et me not let pass 
Occasion which now smiles, behold alone 
The woman, opportune to all attempt s 



LONDON: 

FRINTEP FOR LONGMAN, HURST, BEES, AND Oftlffc, 
FATBRNOsT£R-ROW. 



no6. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Merrier and Co. Printers, Northumberland Court, Strand. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



ZOF LOYA; 



0*, 



THE MOOR. 



CHAP. XIII. 

At an early hour the following morning, 
Leonardo awakened, and immediately 
repaired to the garden, to enter upon his 
.self^allotted task. While in the mansion 
of Ziappi, he had obtained considerable 
knowledge with respect to gardenings 
from having, at leisure hours, resorted to 
it as an amusement r Signor Zappi like- 
wise felt pleasure in giving him insttuc* 
tions, because he himself passed much 
V©X. II. x • of 



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8 ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

of his time in botanising, in planting, 
and trying variQus experiments upon, the 
fecund earth. The young Leonardo had ad- 
ditional motives to strengthen his perse- 
verance i for he felt, though he should in re* 
ality reap the benefit of his own exertions, 
that he laid himself under no obligations 
to r be again (bitter reflection !)>eproached 
with them; he repaid, by the service he 
rendered, the benefit he received ; his 
proud heart was therefore at rest, and 
his spirit became eyen buoyant with pleas- 
ing anticipations that banished for a time 
the recollection of his real woes— woes 
no less real, because his peculiar senti- 
ments (whether romantic, or otherwise) 
induced him to prefer their pressure to 
the ease and splendor which he would 
have deemed disgrace and infamy. 

Nothing assuredly cairns the mind like 
a settled purpose. Leonardo had deter- 

mined 



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XO'FLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 3 

mined to persevere (while circumstances 
should render it expedient) in a course of 
labor and activity. Each successive day 
brought with it lighter, because more ha- 
bitual toil, with an increase of pleasure 
to his heart, in the conviction of being no 
idle member of society. In his know- 
ledge, superior to that of Hugo, the poof 
Nina soon discerned a multiplied advan- 
tage; every thing flourished beneath his 
fostering hand and excellent arrangement: 
hig»mind,warm and enthusiastic, slackened 
not in the pursuit of his object 5 he be- 
came gradually enamoured of his peace- 
ful, innocent, and industrious life— his 
humble retirement, and total seclusion 
from the world. He felt no want, he 
received no favor; he beheld the little 
store of the aged Nina daily increasing, 
and, while he experienced the sweet re- 
ward of constant employ, his heart bound- 
ed, for the first time, with the exulting 
12 oqor 



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4. ZOFLOYA,. QR, THE HOOR. 

cpnsciQusncss of being useful to a fellow- 
creature. 

If e„ anticipated the future, however, 
with a feeling of tpelancholy. His uncer- 
tain destination occasionally employed his 
thoughts—*' Can I always remain thus)" 
he would exclaim, " Alas ! No. Yet, 
surely, these, are halcyon days ; but «tjjl 
I h^ve, an unquenched sentiment in my 
soy],, that. teUs me, this toy ever (though 
hy itself laudable) would be but $n in- 
glorious life for the heir of Lored^nii" 
~"What," said I, " th$ heir of JLore- 
dani is disgraced! He may be happy, 
he may be, hoporsd iq f the, skafLe M but 
despised, contemned, if he offers to 
emerge in the. betraying light of day J— 
No, no, Loredai>i* the .world is no,ptegs 
for thpe 9 in thjne. owa cJwacter ; never, 
mayest thgu appear, aq#pgpwi!" 

These 



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ZOTXOYA} OR, THE MOOX. 5 

These reflections sometimes overwhelm- 
ed his mind with gloom. He had then 
no .refuge but in redoubled activity, re- ." 
.solving- to allow himself no .leisure for 
^ useless anticipation of future fate. 

It happened however, one morning, 
that the aged Nina complained of an un- 
wonted v sensation 5 towards % nbdn" it 
amounted to indisposition, and Leonardo, 
'whom she had ever called her son, as- 
sisted her to her bed, from which she 
was doomed never more to arise. Of 
this, in a few "hours, ; the Worthy creature 
Became conscious; site felt undeniable 
symptoms of appfQafcfiiftg dissolution, 
and knew thfeni for what they were. 
<€ Alas!" iaid she feebly -to the youth 
Leonardo, " I feel, my beloved, rfiy se- 
cond sOh, that I have not long to siirvivfe 
ttiy <ie*ar ttugO; let me.behqld 'thy swfcet 
b 3 face 



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6 ZOFLOTA; OR, THE MOOR. 

face in the moment of death, and let me 
bless thee with my last breath." 

Leonardo was deeply affected ; he be- 
held, on the-point of departing for ever, 
her who had admitted him unhesitatingly, 
beneath her humble roof, to a share of 
her little comforts, to the disposition of 
her trifling all. True, the event had re* 
zvarded her kindness, but that was not 
the consideration of the moment, of her ge- 
nuine hospitality— could he then forsake 
her lonely pillow? No longer than to pro- 
cure every assistance, every necessary 
that might contribute to her ease, or 
tend, perhaps, to revive the feeble em- 
bers, yet lingering, of life. But vain 
were bis attentions/ vain his endeavours; 
ere long extinct became every hope. 
After some hours of painful watching 
by her bed-side, during which she had 

not 



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20FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 7 

not spoken, arid her breath had been 
heard to fluctuate, she, in a low and al- 
most inarticulate voice, desired Leonardo- 
to raise her in his arms. He obeyed 
with tender anxiety. " All I have is 
thine/* she murmured, making an effort 
to open her eyes, and fix upon him her 
last look. No sooner had she beheld that 
ingenuous countenance, then her wishes 
seemed fulfilled; her head sunk heavy 
on his bosom, and she expired in his arms 
with the serenity of a child. 

Great was the grief of Leonardo: he 
summoned her few friends and neigh- 
bours, who occupied here and there a cot- 
tage on the mountain, to perform the 
last sad offices for his humble but affec- 
tionate friend ; and, feeling now the inu- 
tility of remaining on the spot, he re*» 
solved to defer his departure only till he 
b 4 had 



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$ ZOFLOYAj OR, J&f, MO OK. 

; h?d seen l^er decently consigned to the 
earth. , 

In a few days, therefore, Leonardo di- 
viding her slight possessions among those 
who had. obeyed his caM at her decease, 
and reserving to himself only a trifling- 
sum of money, the produce of his own 
labor since he had resided .beneath lW 
roof, he left the simple cottage, where b$ 
had passed some happy hours, and, fur* 
niched with a small stock of provisipps^ 
once more renewed his wanderings. Of 
shelter for the night he was no longer so- 
licitous, for his late toil, and regular 
healthful habits, had so far increased bU 
hardihood and vigor, that he no longer 
shrunk at reposing in the open air; nor 
\youId he, he resolved, while possessed of 
sufficient for Jialf a meal, attempt Renter 
tbe habitatldn of man. 

Night 



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doTiovA, osr, f fat tfdbtf. * 9 

N^ight at length overtook him; h6 
threw himself carelessly upon the eaYtH 
and began to reflect. The vagueness of 
his own Intentions, the ddsultofiriess of 
his mode of life, forcibly Struck him.— - 
<{ It is now two ye&nr arid thtee ftrtnt'hs/* 
thought he, u sirice I left my native city 
of Venice r—sfince I 1 16ft the disgraced 
abode of my father— that deaf, that' ten* 
der fattier, who so rh uch IoVed me, Since 
thaty I have keen onci accused 1 of ^He 
most dreadful crimes; and driver* wife 
ignorhmy from the shelter to which Ihad 
no claim; then hav£ I been inured to pCh 
verty and toil, and efarned hxy bread, liki 
(he meanest peasant, by tljfe'* sweat' of my 
btow ; n6w am I agaift an outcast on the 
wide expafise of creatibn, no friend,* no 
hom6, nor a prospect of obtaiqing brekd 
for to-morrow's subsistence: Oh, mother f 
atod'all this for tfiee" he exclaimed, clasp- 
itig his hands fervently together j " through 
b 5 thee 



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10 zoflota; or, the moor* 

thee have I endured all this" Now 
the probable /ate of that mother, how 
his father had supported her loss, and the 
situation of his sister, with a thousand 
dear and tender recollections, pressed 
upon his mind ; the fond wish of revisit- 
ing his home flashed across his mind, but 
scarcely at first would he admit the idea. 
Irresistibly, however, it hung around his 
heart. " And why not, then," said he, 
at length, in an eager voice, *5 why. not?" 
as he contemplated the alteration of his 
appearance : " who, in the present hardy 
Leonardo, (robust by toil, embrowned 
by the fierce rays of the mid r day sun, and 
habited too in the coarse costume of the 
humble peasant,) shall trace the once lux- 
urious heir of Loredani ? Yes, I am de- 
termined," he pursued, starting on his 
feet; " I may with safety, without danger 
of being known,, once more revisit my 
homes I can satisfy my mind respect- 



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ZOFLOYA* OR, THE MOOR. 11 

ing my unfortunate family, and then take 
of it an eternal adieu." 

He walked rapidly a Few steps, for- 
getting, in the enthusiasm of the moment, 
that it was night : at length he grew 
calm. "Early in the morning, then," 
said he, mentally; €( meantime here is n*y 
bed." Oiice more he cast "himself upon 
the earth, and sleep stealing over him, 
soon calmed the agitation of his mind. 

Prompt was the decision, and prompt 
ever the execution of Leonardos leaving, 
at early dawn, the mountains of Tuscany 
behind him, he pursued his journey with 
the most eager rapidity that his humble 
means would allow, ever cautious that no 
one should suspect him for other than he 
appeared. Who can describe his sensa- 
tions when he found himself even Hear 
the city of Venice ! yet he resolved not 

b e to 



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10 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR, 

to* enter it during the day; and when he; 
arrived at Padua, determined to proceed 
as far as he could on foot, thinking by 
this means that it would be impossible 
for him to reach Venice before nightfall. 

. * Cqrbiqg his impatience, therefore, after 
taking some slight refreshment, he deli- 
berately set out on his allotted task ; but, 
notwithstanding that he walked, a$ he 
conceived^ at a moderate pace, by the 
time he reached the extcemity of the 
TerraFjrma, he perceived the sun still far 
above the western hemisphere; he con- 
tinued therefore slowly to wander along 
tfte borders of the lake, idly stopping to 
remark whatever vijla or splendid domain 
Attracted his eye, of which the Venetian 
nobility have manypn the Terra Firma. At 
length, however, feeling ^om? what weary, 
lie threw himself upon the bed of the 
eprth, to hipi no longer unfamiliaj as 

such, 



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ZOFLOYA} OR, THB MOO*. *$ 

such, and fell as u$ual into 3 train of 
thought. Tears involuntarily filled hlsr 
eyes, and coursed each oth^r down iis 
cheeks : he closed those eyes, filled, asj 
they were with tears, qfld ruminated ovjer 
the sorrows of his youth. A>h ! tears* 
painful as you were,, as yet rising; froi?* 
afh unpolluted heart; from a heart„though; 
trarstmg^wth grief, yetf unstained by gttUt* 
Why, why must Jt so soon, beco*n$ chfej|gr> 
ed, destroyed, and plunged into aij abyss* 
of shame and infamy? Why art thou 
doomed, Lttmarchp, ta add ^toother, hlot. 
to the page which registers Ljuiftaa'A 
crimes ? 

Nature will often become .exhausted 
by the intensenes$ ; of its own sensations.; 
Leonardo sunk by degrees from beep fcel-> 
ing into a temporary ifis[ensibilttyi a softt 
sleep stole over his faculties, and he forgot 
for a : time the unhfcppioess of hksituatiin. 

While 



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14 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE. MOOH. 

While unconsciously he thus reposed, 
a female chanced to wander near the spot. 
She had quitted her house for the pur- 
pose of enjoying more fully the fresco of 
the evening, and to stroll, along the banks 
of the lake; the young Leonardo, how- 
ever, arrested her attention, and she softly 
approached to contemplate him— his hands 
were clasped over his head, and on his 
cheek, where the hand of health had 
planted her brown-red rose, the pearly 
gems of his tears still hung — his auburn 
hair sported in graceful ctfrls about his 
forehead and temples, agitated . by the 
passing breeze — his vermeil lips were half 
open, and disclosed his polished teeth — 
his bosom, which he had uncovered to 
admit the refreshing air, remained dis- 
closed, and contrasted by it$ snowy white- 
ness the animated hue of his complexion. 

Beautiful and fascinating, though in the 

simple; 



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ZOPLOYA; OR, THE MOOR, 15 

simple garb of a peasant, did the wonder- 
ing female consider the youth before hen 
Struck with Jively admiration, she knew 
not how to quit the spot, when an insect 
suddenly alighting on his cheek, he started 
and awaked — somewhat confused, he has* 
tily arose, for the female that met his eyes 
appeared to him supremely beautiful ; 
approaching him gently, and with a smile, 
she laid her hand upon his arm, and in a 
gentle voice said : 

" You appear a stranger here) and 
though your dress bespeaks inferiority of 
situation, pardon me if I distrust what it 
seems meant to convey, Without there- 
fore deeming me impertinently curious, 
allow me to inquire whither you intend 
to bend your course, as the evening is 
already far advanced, and I know not of 
any house near this that could yield you 
accommodation for the night." 

This 



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t# axwrau>rat; arc, r$t& MWf, 

. : Tbis/.wak tftie fitet beaptifui kad affrac- 
$v,$ femaie (save tlife iaiiocetit Amamia 1 , 
whosfe attraction, fob was of a nature 
whe^ different to that? of hers before 
lum)-whj* had ever addressed herself to 
the warm imagination of Leonardo. His 
eheetes bjecame suffused with deepening 
blushes, and his eyes, with which he 
longed to gazie upon her* were yet cast 
feashftifly towards the earthi Ih a faul- 
tering voice he replied, while every con- 
sideration but of the object before him 
Vanished from bis mind : 

"Mifcavc- — — no, I havfe not any parti- 
cular destination for this night, Signora— 
but I haver— I have it in 5 contemplation 
Where: to bend my course soofof at leasts 
I ram solicitous—" Hfe stopped, unable 
tih proceed frqin a confusion of idea. 

" Well, but tbep," in a voice ! of tettdef 

anxiety, 



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5J0FL0YA; on, wra #oo*. 17 

anxiety, answered Megalena gtrpzzi (for 
her it was yrhq addressed the youth), <K if 
you are not absolutely decided— if you are* 
jipt particularly desirous of proceeding; 
further to-night, perhaps you will for the 
present deign to enter my villa, aqd allow 
me the happiness of offering you a dwel- 
ling for the night." 

Leonardo raided his eye$, and was about 
tp reply, c< Come, I perceive you will not 
deny fat," gaily resumed the fairFloren* 
tine, taking him lightly by the arm, and 
leading him onwards j " my house is but 
a small distance from hence: look, you 
may behold it as you stand," (she added) 
pointing with her finger tp a tfmaH and 
beautiful edifice bu(ilt in the form of a pa* 
vilion. — <" Impossible, lovely Sigfcora, to 
refuse g?% any thing," said $he youthen-* 
thusia$t4c at herchapps, and the graceful 
qss£ of her fanner: ^ Hnpo$«ible to re* 
f}$e you, any thing.** 

The 



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- 18 ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

The fair Florentine only smiled, and 
proceeded with alacrity, as though appre- 
hensive that the youth should retract. 
They soon reached the villa, and a smo- 
thered sigh, as he entered it, was the last 
tribute paid to the memory of his ne- 
glected home. 

The character of Megalena Strozzi has 
already been so far revealed, that to am- 
plify upon it here, or the excesses into 
which it perpetually hurried her, would 
be vain. Suffice it to say, that, enrap- 
tured with the novel graces of the young 
Leonardo, she spared no artifice or allure- 
ment to induce him to protract his stay 
beneath her roof. She devoted herself to 
fascinate and seduce him, and day after 
day contrived fresh causes to prevent his 
departure. By degrees these artifices, as 
Megalena had hoped they would, became 
unnecessary : it was now him who forbore 
to press the subject, who sought excuses 

td 



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ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 19 

to remain, and who constantly trembled, 
lest the necessity of departing should be 
pointed out to him. It was not with the 
beautiful Megalena, as with the profligate 
wife of Zappi; for, though equally de- 
praved herself, she knew better how to 
disguise, beneath an artificial delicacy and 
. refinement/ the tumultuous wishes of her 
heart. It was not vainly, then, that she 
sought to seduce the imagination, and 
lure the senses of the youth. No ; he 
had in his own hjgh-wrought feelings, in 
his susceptible soul, powerful and trea- 
cherous advocates in her cause. He beheld 
her with a mixed sentiment of admiration 
and passion, far different to the sentiments 
with which he had regarded the young 
Amamia. Those he had entfertained for 
her were innocent, peaceful, and refined; 
for Megalena, turbulent, painful, wild : 
her charms kindled his soul* Amamia's 
had filled it with a halcyQn tenderness : 

his 



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30 ZOFtOYA; OR, THE MpOR. 

his sensations for the one were like the 
burning heat of a fierce meridian stin * 
for the other, like the gentle calmness of 
a summer eve* 

Megalena, who had only retired to the 
villa which she $t present occupied, with 
the intent to remain there for a few days, 
(and that merely on account of a' slight 
quarrel that she had had wirh'Conte Be- 
renza, wherein she had bitterly reproached 
him for the infrequency of his visits to her,) 
now forgetting the cause of chagrin that 
had induced her td leave Venice, fountj 
herself, from the delightful chance that 
had introduced Leonardo to her, inclined 
to ptfptract her stay, far beyond what she 
had originally intended. 

It so happened, that about this time 
Jkrenga had recovered his beloved Vic- 
toria; the absence, therefore, of the fair 
* * Megalena 



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. zqKitOTA;. OR, THE MOOR* 21 

Megalena remained not only un noticed, \ 
but unknown-;: while she secretly congra- 
tulateit herself upon the reveng£.$he be>- 
lieved herself to be taking, upon the; in* 
dijflference of Betenza towards. Jier j* yet, . 
indifferent as he was^ the Florentine 
could hot forget that she had loved him 
"once with a passion almost equal to that 
which she now felt for Leonardo,: and 
whether or hot he still con tiau^d.ta repay 
her diminished, regards with all the ardent 
gratitude she had the vanity to conceive 
her due. for having once preferred : him to 
all other men* she vowed in her heart that 
the hour in which she should discover in 
him a preference to another should be 
the last of his existence. 

Yet for her own conduct she had no 
standard but her wishes. Inconstancy 
and duplicity towards him, from whom 
she presumed to require such implicit 

' devotion, 



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22 ZOFLOTAj OR, THE MOOR. 

devotion, were esteemed as nothing : her 
excesses, her irregularities, if she had in- 
genuity enough to conceal them from his 
knowledge,she considered perfectly allow- 
able, and far from affording to Berenza a 
sufficient excuse for attaching himself 
elsewhere. 

With these sentiments she gave un- 
bounded latitude to her passion for Leo- 
nardo, and to such an excess did it spee- 
dily arrive, that she almost felt as if for 
him she could resign every other man. 



CHAP. 



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XOFLOYA} OR, THE MOOR. 23 



CHAP. XIV. 



Three months had now elapsed since 
Leonardo, fatally for himself, had become 
known {o the syren Megalena. He was 
qot yet nineteen ; Megalena was his senior 
by several years ; yet so far had her full- 
blown but unfaded charms, her playful 
yet elegant manners, her various seductive 
blandishments, obtained the ascendancy 
over his imagination, that the bare idea 
of separating from her became to him 
at length distraction : she had bewitched 
and enslaved his heart, she had awakened 
his soul to new existence j the image of 
the delicate Amamia faded from his mind, 
and a more wild, a more unbounded pas- 
sion 



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2* £0*q>OTA^ OR, tjfV'MoW, 

sion took possession of it, in the form of 
Megalena. 

With a novel d&ight, superior to aught 
she had ever felt at .any former conquest, 
did the artful Florentine behold her tri- 
umph: she had sown ;(asi she belifev6d)the 
first germs' of Jove airf: p&sdfatt in a pure 
yquthful* breast j. she had seen thbWgerms 
shoot forth: and expand beneath the fer- 
vid rays of her influence,; and she enjoyed 
th<£ fruits with a voluptirou* pleasure* 
< * • 

At length hotoeVer thfe' vanity of her 
sex became predominant; assured of the 
perfect regard of Leonardo, enamoured 
of his beauty, and proud of her conquest, 
she had yet another feeling to gratify i 
she longed to exhibit him at Venice, to 
the females of her acquaintance, to excite 
their envy and their admiration, for of 

their 



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ZOfLOYA* Q£, THI MOQR. 25 

their attractions she entertained no fear; 

, no dread of rivalry with herself had the 
haughty Florentine. But how to conceal 
from Berenza her new and highly prized 
lover—she resolved then to let her return 
to Venice remain a secret to him, and, in 
order to maintain it such, go but little 
from home; this point determined on, 

^ she expressed to Leonardo her desire to 
revisit Venice. 

At the mention of Venice he became 
▼isibly agitated 5 the colour forsook his 
cheeks, and returned to them again with 
deepened dye. That very event which 
he had a little time before so eagerly de- 
sired, he now contemplated with mingled 
sensations of terror and' reluctance. But 
could he .refuse aught to his seducing, 
mistress? Impossible ! for her he forgot 
the firmest purpose of his spul; to her he 
laid opea the painful secret, which till 

vol. 11. c now, 



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26 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

now, with scrupulous care, a high mind- 
edness that shrunk from the idea of di- 
vulgement, he had undeviatingly guarded 
—the secret of his name and family. 

Throwing himself into the arms of 
Megalena, he acknowledged himself for 
what he was, and hesitatingly expressed 
his unwillingness openly to revisit Venice, 
at least in his proper character. 

" Are you then/' exclaimed Megalena, 
(the fire of increased exultation sparkling 
in her eyes), " are you then the son of 
Loredani?" 

" I am, beautiful Strozzi," answered 
he; <c but," ^dropping on his knees, and 
fervently clasping his hands together, 
" guard, guard, I beseech you, the secret 
which your charms have extracted from 
mej respect my honor, my happiness, 

and 



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ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR* 27, 

and my life ; and never, by any chance, 
oh, never let it transpire from your lips> 
that I am the disgraced, the wandering 
offspring of that unhappy house ; or that, 
to the name 'of Leonardo I add," — his 
voice faltered— " I add that of Lore- 
dani!" 

tt Never, never," solemnly answered 
the Florentine. 

*' Swear it I lovely woman—^wear it, 
ere I rise," passionately added Leonardo. 

* €C . I szvear, solemnly swear/' answered 
.Megalena, laying one hand upon his 
shoulder and raising the other to heaven, 
" I swear never to divulge thy secret to 
mortal being, and in the moment I forget 
my oath, may the lightning of heaven 
blast me 1" 

c 2 " Megalena, 



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28 ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

*" Megalena, I thank thee," cripd Lcof 
ndrdo fervently, rising from his knees* 
tod embraciog her with a tender so- 
lemnity, while tears trembled in his eyes* 
* I earnestly thank thee; for the discovery 
of my secret I would ntver survive!" ' 

<( But you will go to Venice then, 
Leonardo." 

" Oh, Megalena, does not my father 
dwell there?— how, gomg with thee,might 
I remain concealed from his knowledge?" 

, ** Know you not then, dear youth, that 
the Marchese is no more ! That event, and 
those which followed, are sufficiently 
known in Venice, and none of your fac- 
ially at present reside there." 

Leonardo heard only the words, " The 
Marchese is no more!" His hands, were 

raised 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. ,29 

raised in mute anguish to heaven, the 
eloquent tears rolled slowly down his 
cheeks* and emphatically he exclaimed, 
" Merciful God, I thank thee!" Then 
turning towards Megalena, he said, in a 
voice of assumed calmness, " Inform me 
of what you know; I can bear to, listen." 

The Florentine, appearing deeply af- 
fected at the visible emotion of Leonardo, 
stated (and certainly with all possible 
regard to those high and susceptible feel- 
ings which she perceived in him,) what- 
ever had come to her knowledge respect- 
ing the occurrences in the family of 
koredani. She concluded her detail, 
(which she had rendered as concise and 
as little painful as possible,) by again ob- 
serving (as she believed justly) that no 
part of that family resided now in the 
city of Venice. 

C3 "Oh, 



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30 zofloya; or, the moor* 

<c Ob, Jost — oh, miserable mother P* 
silently ejaculated the youth; " thou hast 
completed, then, the measure of thy 
crimes : adieu, for ever, to the honor, ta 
the happiness of thy children ; thou hast 
now blasted them irretrievably I" 

To Megalena, however, his smarting 
pride, his anguished feelings, 1 suffered 
him to make no remark; his heart was 
too full, it was too towering, even in its 
humility, to ask a sharer in such griefs. 

" And wilt thou not, then, accompany 
me to the city ?" Interrogated Megalena 
'again, taking his hand, and looking 
fondly in his face, 

" Yes, yes, fair Megalena/' he replied* 
passing his hand hastily across his fore- 
head, as if to chase away every uneafcy 

thought; 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 31 

thought; " yes, I can now do any thing — 
but,- remember, I am only Leonardo." 

Delighted to have gained- her point, 
the Florentine promised obedience to 
his smallest desire; anticipated, and 
entered warmly into his every wish, ar- 
ranging with eager facility a plan for his" 
remaining concealed, and unknown. Leo- 
nardo, yielding to all she proposed, 
hastened from her . presence to wander 
awhile in gloomy retrospection; for his 
mind, incapable of recovering immediately 
from the shock it had sustained^ required, 
in solitude, to wear off its effect, and con- 
quer the gloom that oppressed it. 

Megalena, however, determined that 
herlovef should not retract, resumed, as 
soon as she again beheld him, the subject 
nearest her heart, and fixed the following 
day for their departure from the villa. 
c 4 Aqua 



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32 ZOfLOYA'y OR, fHi? MOOR. 

Aqua Dolce, to whose friendly seclusion 
she considered herself indebted for plea- 
sure, beyond any she had ever enjoyed. 

Accordingly, in the cool of the evening, 
on the following day, they embarked for 
Venice. It began to get dusk as they 
arrived; they soon reached her luxurious • 
residence, but nothing could remove the 
oppression which momentarily had been 
growing upon Leonardo, increasing at 
every step that brought him nearer to the 
place of his nativity, Megalena per* 
reiving this, exertdd herself, by every 
tender assiduity and insinuating, art, to 
lighten and disperse. She welcomed the 
youthful lover to her home, and caused a 
splendid supper to be prepared. At 
length her powerful influence began to 
prevail i the melancholy of Leonardo gave 
way before it; potent goblets of wine 
assisted her efforts ; the uselessness of re* 
-'••- gret 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 33 

gret becoming manifest to his mind, it 
was displaced 'by a vivacity, resulting ra- 
ther from the animation imparted to the 
spirits, by wine and luxurious viands, than 
the sober reasoning of philosophy. The 
bland seductress Megalena possessed over * 
him an unlimited power; she had caused 
a new world to open on his view j even 
yet he was not awakened from the dream 
of pleasure with which die had bewitched 
his soul : feelings and ideas, unknown be* 
fore, sVvel led in his bosom, and his heart 
was rapidly becoming immersed in an in* 
fotuatin'g $ea of voluptuousness. 

Megalena, to his heated enthusiastic 
fancy, appeared an angel, at once benefi- 
cent and beautiful. Jealous ot every idea 
that was not directed to herself, she se- 
dulously endeavoured to banish from his 
mind all painful recurrence fo the past $ 
to this end, she thought it expedient to 
c 5 ' seek 



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34 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 

seek for, him amusement and recreation* 
but of a nature that should not involve 
publicity; for, in his determination of 
concealment, Leonafdo continued firm^ 
and tremblingly alive to the remotest idea 
of discovery. 

Accordingly, at her own house Mega.-. 
lena assembled most of her female friends* 
and such of her male acquaintance who, 
while from vacancy they affected to ad- 
mire her, professed not to be lovers : to 
all these she presented her cherished lover 
as a young Florentine, and distant relation 
of her own; for even Megalena, bold and 
unprincipled as she was, did not desire to 
have known the real circumstances of her 
acquaintance with Leonardo. 

Among the visitors that *frequen ted this 
abode of levity and ignoble pleasure, it 
was not probable that any should be found 

who 



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ZOFLOYA; or, the moor. 35 

who had formerly visited at the Marchese 
Loredani's -, jet, had such an accident 
occurred, nearly three years of absence 
from Venice, joined to the life which he 
had led amid the mountains of Tuscany, 
had so far changed his originally delicate 
appearance, that it would have been al- 
most impossible for any but a near rela- 
tive to recognise the pampered boy, Leo- 
nardo, in the hardy and robust-looking 
Florentine, increased to the most elegant 
stature of the full-grown man. But yet, 
, although unknown and undiscovered, Me- 
galena vainly flattered herself in believing 
that the tale of his relationship to herself 
was credited. Enamoured as she appeared 
of the eminent beauty of his person, and 
evidently incapable of remaining at ease 
if for a moment he quitted her presence, 
it required no singular degree of pene- 
tration to discern, that ties more tender 
and more animated th,an those resulting 
c 6 from 



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36 20FL0YAJ OA, THE MOOtt. 

from consanguinity attracted her towards 
him. 

It so happened, that among the females, . 
to which the vanity of the Florentine in- 
cited her to introduce her lover, was one, 
by name Theresa. This girl was of ex> 
quisite beauty, but deeply immersed in 
n stream of vice and dissipation. To tjie 
further disgrace of Megalena, it must be 
acknowledged, that she was in a high 
degree accessary to her fall from virtue: 
the unfortunate girl (though she appeared 
to court her society, and to entertain to- 
wards her, friendship and affection,) was 
in her heart deeply sensible of • this, and, 
when reflection transiently pervaded her 
wretched mind, in the bitterness of an 
abhorrent half-repentant spirit, she si- 
lently cursed the enemy that had betrayed 
her. ^ 

Soon 



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ZOy^OYA; OR* THE MOO*, Si 

Soon her penetrating, and observant eye 
remarked the fond expression of regard 
with which Megalena Strozzi so frequent- 
ly regarded her lover ; the concealed ex- 
ultation with which she viewed him, wafc 
discovered by the watchful Theresa; she 
felt convinced in her mind, that he bore 
no relationship to her, excepting that of 
love, (if love it might be ^termed,) and re- 
joiced at a prospect of obtaining revetige 
for the misery that an envying and fallen 
female had induced her to partake of. 
Inspired, too, by something of passion 
for the attractive Leonardo, she resolved, 
if possible, to detach him wholly from 
her hated associate, by courting him to 
herself. Eager In the prosecution of this 
plan, she left untried no artifices that 
could facilitate it; she invited Megalena 
frequently to her house, and, spite o£ her 
watchfulness and care, contrived to have 
her attention engaged, t that she might 

■ v steal 



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38* ZOFLOYA;'oR, THE MOOR. 

steal Leonardo from her side, and hold 
private conferences with him ; she appeal-' 
ed, as the Florentine had done r to his 
imagination and his senses ; and by 
younger, therefore more blooming charms, 
sought to reduce his heart from its allegi- 
ance to her. But while Theresa angled, 
as she thought, thus securely and unsus- 
pected, the demon of jeajousy had taken 
possession of the Florentine's soul ! En- 
raged to madness at what she saw, yet 
wily and apparently cool, with vengeance 
burning in her breast, she resolved still 
to appear unconscious, and see how far 
the daring treachery of Theresa would 
carry her. To this end, she forbore to 
circumvent her various plans to inveigle 
her lover; and,while Theresa believed hen- 
self wholly unobserved, she only fell the 
readier into the snare which was laid for 
her. 



At 



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ZOFI^OYA; OR, THE MOOR. 39 

At length her incessant and evident as- 
siduities began to attract, in return, the 
attentions of Leonardo. Now no longer 
diffident, no longer retiring, he sought 
not to repress the sensations she excited 
—sensations not so ardent indeed, because 
no longer new, as those he had expe* 
riencedfor Megalena, but yet gradually ac^ 
quiring strength^ and, from the novelty 
of the object, at least increasing in allure- 
ment. His eyes and his language began 
to assure Theresa that she had in some 
measure atchieved her anxiously-desired 
object. Desirous, if possible, to rivet 
him at once her own, she, with eager and 
ill-concealed delight, appointed an even- 
ing when, by a plan of her own sugges- 
tion, he might, unsuspected, steal to her 
house. The sentiments of Leonardo, 
though high, and tremblingly alive to 
whatever regarded his pride or dignity of 
birth, were not yet so punctilious as fo 

shrink 



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40 ZQttOYA; cm, the jmkk, 

shrink from the. idea cif infringing on 
tiie fidelity of love- Unused, even 
from childhood, to curb x the slightest 
of J*is wishes, and his self-love flattered 
by the early acquired regard of so young 
and lovely a female, he hesitated not in 
accepting her invitation, though his native 
delicacy taught him to consider it as some- 
what premature. But what then? Me- 
galena herself had first inspired him with 
a taste for ignoble pleasures, and it could 
scarcely be dishonorable to pursue with 
another the path her fascinations had 
pointed out. 

The evening then vwas mutually agreed 
on, and even the very hour fixed : to 
this length did the secure and artful 
Strozzi permit ey^ry thing to advance. 
Leonardo was suffered to make his escape, 
to enter the house, and even the apart- 
ment where his impatient fair one awaited 

to 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 41 

to receive him ; but then so well, so ac- 
curately had the Florentine arranged her 
plan, she burst upon them like a thunder 
cloud. For a few moments she even sur- 
veyed them, but with that kind of hor- 
riblfe tranquillity that betokens an ap- 
proaching storm. 

Theresa had greeted Leonardo with a 
fervent embrace, and such wa$ still their 
attitude. With a look, wherein was de- 
picted the blackest rage, tlie deepest ven- 
geance, and the bitterest scorn, without 
advancing a step, she continued to con- 
template them i then, firmly and delibe* 
rately approaching Leonardo, she seized 
him by the arm. So unimpaired was her 
power over his soul, such was the awe, 
almost the terror, which he involuntarily 
fck, while sinking abashed beneath the 
powerful glance of her eye, that he had 
ao power to resist the decisiveness of her 

action. 



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42 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

action. There was a something at this 
juncture, in their- relative situations, that 
made her, even in his own eyes, appear 
the injured person, and himself the worth- 
less aggressor. Without a single rebel- 
lious struggle, therefore* on his side, the 
Florentine retained his ?irm, which she 
. grasped with the violence of srfcothered 
rage; then, casting on th* trembling and 
foiled Theresa a- look, which spoke vo- 
lumes to her trembling soul, she led, witb 
step haughty and indignant, her reco- 
vered captive from the room. 

Returning homewards, Megalena pre- 
served a gloomy silence s Leonardo essay- 
ed twice or thriqe to speak, but his tongue 
refused its office, and accents, half form* 
ed, quivered on his lips. Shocked and 
repentant, his mind suggested nothing 
that could allay the resentment he knew 
was boiling in the breast of his mistress. 

At 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 43 

At length they reached home, and en- 
tered an apartment : the Florentine still 
preserving an uninterrupted silence, threw 
herself upon a sopha, and, covering her 
face with her hands, remained apparently 
absorbed in thought. 

Leonardo could bear no longer this ter- 
rible demeanor; he became agonised: the 
remembrance of the happiness he had 
till now enjoyed with his still adored Me- 
galena, rushed impetuously over his ar- 
dent soul. Of Theresa he knew little or 
nothing ; he felt an emotion, bordering on 
rage and disgust, rising in his bosom 
against her, for having, even momenta- 
rily, alienated his thoughts from her to 
whom fondly he conceived that he owed 
so much. No longer master of himself,, 
he rushed towards her ; he threw himself 
with violence at her feet, kissed them, 
and bedewed them with his tears. This 

was 



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44 20*LOYA$ OR, THE MOOifc 

was only what tjhe artful Florentine had 
expected i knowing well the haughtiness 
of his nature, yet knowing likewise well 
the susceptibility of his, feelings, she had 
forborne to irritate, by reproach, him who , 
was to be conquered by an appeal to the 
heart. ; 

"Oh! lovely, oh! adored Megalena," 
cried the repentant lover, " forgive, for- 
give me. I feel, yes, I feel that 'tis yo& 
©lone I Jove i pardon then, m thU con- 
viction, your unhappy, guilty slave!" 

The Florentine answerednot. 

" What! not a word, not a word. Oh ! 
Megaleoa," resumed he, almost distract* 
ed, and snatching his stiletto forth, *' I 
have lived too long then, and thus let me 
force ex&tence from my worthless, though 
agonised hfiart« f V As he spoke, he tone * 

open 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 45 

open his vest, and franticly made an at- 
tempt to plunge it in his bosom. 

Megalena, starting up, wrenched it. 
from his ftfrious grasp, and threw it far. 
Still the devoted youth remained at hef 
feet. She cast her eyes downwards upon 
his graceful form, and tenfold love as- 
sailed her softened soul. She stretched 
forth her hand and bade him rise. Her 
voice re-animated him, and, springing up, 
he folded her with ardor to his breast. 

The artful Strozzi returned his em- 
brace* but suddenly pushing him from 
her, she exclaimed : 

« Go, bring me that stiletto ?" He 
fek surprise, but obeyed her imperious 
command. 

She took it hastily from his hand, then 
said in a solemn serious voice : * 

" Leonardo, 



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46 ZOFLOYA; OR,*THE MOOR* 

" Leonardo, do you love me?" 

u Love you !" he eagerly repeated. 

i€ Then, mark me," she resumed, " by 
this stiletto, and by your hand, Theresa 
dies.!" 

The youth shuddered, and recoiled a 
few steps* for human nature shrinks inr 
stinctively at murder, 

" Ah! falsfe wretch! do you hesitate?" 
fiercely exclaimed the Florentine; "go 
then ! go to your Theresa, and quit my 
sight for ever !" 

" And »will nothing less then appease 
thee, oh Megalen'aP' faltered out the 
enslaved Leonardo. 

cc 'Tis plain he loves her," gloomily 
muttered the^ vindictive Strozzi. 

" Oh ! 



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ZOFI.0YA; •OR, THE MOOR* 4v 

" Oh ! .no; by Heaven I do not !" eagerly 
replied Leonardo. 

« Prove it then, by plunging this sti- 
letto in her heart! nought else can, or 
shall, convince me that you do not." 

" Oh ! Megalena, my first,, my only 
mistress! you will not, you cannot surely 
require proof so dreadful l" — and implor- 
ingly he looked in her countenance. 

That fierce countenance still retained 
its unchanging expression— in it he read, 
*' Consent^ or leave me !° — This dreadful 
j fiat made her appear, from the apprehen- 
sion it excited of losing her, more beau- 
tiful then ever in his eyes* Her symmetri- 
cal form shone forth with redoubled love- 
liness to his heated fancy, and, while he 
gazed, his struggles died away, or were 
displaced by sensations, which overpow- 
ered 



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48 fcOFLOYA* OR, *HE MOO*. 

ered them. He stretched forth his 

burning hand ; it trembled with the con- 
sciousness of intended murder j and, in a 
faint faltering voice, he said— , 

" Give me the dagger !" 

w You consent then, said the seductress 
Megalena, i€ to let it shed the blood of 
the insolent Venetian." 

« I do 1 do—" 

H And to bring it' me again, stained 
and dripping with her gore!" 

« All— all— you Vequire !" groaned the 
miserable Leonardo. "I love you— cruel 
Megalena — oh ! how much— when, to 
prove it, I would murder——" 

The Florentine cast the stiletto with 

* violence 



Digitized by VjOOQlC 



Z0irj.0y.Ai OR, TH6 MOOR. 49 

violence away, and opened her fair arm* 
wide. The bewildered Lepnardo rushed 
into their embrace, and sunk overpowered 
on her bosom! 

<c I forgive thee/' she cried -, " I nm» 
forgive thee, Leonardo! I wanted, after 
thy cruel dereliction from me, some proof 
that I was still loved— — that proof I 
have obtained, and thou art mine again !" 

" Oh ! 1 was thine ever," replied the 
infatuated youth, tears gushing from his 
eyes. 

'" I now believe that thou wert," an- 
swered the Florentine, gazing exultingly 
upon her victim, and then gently seating 
him beside her with a smile. 

Such was the fatal ^empire that a 

worthless wanton had acquired over a 

vol. ii. d young 



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50 ZOFioYA; OR, Tfifc MOO*. 

young. and susceptible heartjeft to Its wild 
energies* ere reason could preponderate j 
and thus darkly coloured became the 
future character of one, yielding pro- 
gressively to the most horrible crimes, 
which,, if differently directed in early 
youth, . might have become an honor and 
an ornament to human nature; 



CHAP. 



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ZdFLOYAi OR, THE MOOH. 51 



CHAP. XV. 

Mecalena Strozzi, from this instance 
of the envy and treachery of female ac- 
quaintance, became disgusted with Venice, 
and resolved to retire again to her villa 
near the banks of the lake, that slje might 
retain her captive in solitary safety. Hav- 
ihg but rarely quitted her house during 
her stay at Venice, and even then avoid- 
ing the most public resorts, she had, as 
she desired, escaped the observation of 
Count Berenza, who indeed, had he 
chanced to have espied her, would have 
been more anxious to shun, than recog- 
nise hen Venice, however, she with 
Leonardo hastily quitted, and repaired to 
Aqua Dolce, secretly happy that she had 
d 2 borne 



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52 ZOFLOYA; OR* THE MOOR, 

borne away her lover front all further 
temptation, and exclusively appropriated 
him to' herself; v 

For a time she remained tranquil and 
satisfied: she found means to diversify 
the scene, and amuse the youthful taste 
of Leonardo, by rambling about the beau- 
tiful walks that environed her dwelling, 
or sometimes, in her gondola, taking the 
fresco upon the lake. Yet, spite of all 
this, spite of* being unceasingly in the 
society of him she preferred, her restless 
spirit could not be restrained/ and again 
she panted for the gay pleasures of the 
city: ennui began to take possession of 
her ill-organized and resourceless mind j 
for it is the pure, intellectual soul alone, 
that can receive delight from solitude. 

' Venice, with all its dangers, became 
preferable in her eye to the gloomy same- 
ness. 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, TtfE MOOR. 53 

ness, though security of the country ; and, 
after a residence of a few weeks therfc, 
she again resolved to brave the allure- 
ments of the city. Leonardo was, equally 
-desirous with herself to emerge from se- 
clusion, but, having now acquired artifice, 
be affected indifference to the- proposed 
change. Megalcna, pleased at this ap- 
pearance, and flattering herself that he 
was now too firmly riveted to allow him- 
self,to be again seduced by the charms or 
incitements of others, with as great eager- 
ness as she had flown to it, now hastened 
from her weary solitude. 

Arrived once more in Venice, she boldly 
resolved that she would no more, as for- 
merly, debar herself from going, as she 
-had been wont to do, to the most public 
resort of the gay Venetians; and she even . 
decided in her mind, that should Berenza, 
as fully she expected he would, question 
j> 3 ' her 



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*4 ZOFLOYAj 01, THE MOOR. 

her with respect to the nature of her in- 
timacy with the youth Leonardo, to im* 
pose upon him, if possible, the same story 
that she had attempted to pass upon 
others. 

In consequence of these arrangements 
it was that she no longer withheld herself 
from figuring in St. Mark's Place, and on 
the Laguna. Leonardo, however, con- 
stantly declined accompanying her in 
these public exhibitions ; and the artful 
Tlorentine procured him such amusements 
at home, as should inform her on her re- 
turn how he had employed his time. 

Thus it was that, on a certain evening, 
during one of her excursions on the lake, 
she encountered Berenza, whom so long 
she had feared to meet ^ but encoun- 
tered him under circumstances that she 
had little expected. Bitter and offensive 

to 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 55 

to her jeilous soul was the situation in 
which she beheld him, with a young and 
lovely rival seated by his side, in gay and 
amorous converse; with a basilisk's eye 
she gazed upon her, breathing destruc- 
tion and revenge. 

" And is it for this, then, 1 * she exclaimed, 
" that I have till now so anxiously con- 
cealed myself? Well might the wretch 
be incurious respecting me: well he might 
leave me unmolested by his visits. But 
why ? Ah, little could I guess, and dearly 
shall he- pay, for the short-lived raptures 
his inconstancy has procured him." 

Thus, bursting with rage, swore the 
vengeful Megalena ; and, rushing imme- 
diately, as she entered her abode, to the 
apartment where she had left Leonardo 
employed in finishing a drawing, she 
d 4 threw 



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56 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOO*. 

threw herself upon a chair besidei him, 
and exclaimed. 

" Throw, throw aside your pencil, Leo- 
nardo, and seize your dagger ; for, by 
Heaven, this night he dies !" 

" What said'st thou, Megalena?" in- 
quired the youth with evident* surprise, 
fixing his eyes upon her countenance : 
" who is it dies to night? and what dost 
thou mean ?" 

By the rage which flamed on her check, 
and sparkled in her eye, Leonardo easily 
discerned that somewhat unusual had oc- 
curred. Taking her hand, and tenderly 
kissing it, he pursued : " Tell me, Me- 
galena, what has befiallen thee ?" 

« Yes, he shall— by all my hopes of 

salvation 



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20FL0YA; OR, THI MOOSt. 57 

salvation he shall die!" franticly cried the 
vindictive Florentine ; " arid thou, Leo- 
nardo, yes, thoil shalt execute my ven- 
geance on him !" 

Murder again!— the theme was still 
horrible to Leonardo, and again he shud- 
dered and recoiled. 

* Wilt -thou not consent, Leonardo?" 
she said, in a hollow voice, fixing upon 
him her large and fiercely gleaming eyes. 

<c But say, who must die?" cried the 
youth, <c and what is the offence against 
thee?" 

cc The treacherous, the ungrateful be*- 
trayet ! But you know him not, JLeonardo 
— *-yet, mark me ; my resolution is taken, 
and it devolves on you to execute it ! The 
time is at length come, wherein you must 
n % 5 . prove 



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58 ZOFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR. 

prove the strength, the devotedness of 
your attachment to me. Now then hear 
me: II Conte Berenza is a noble Ve- 
netian; he was the betrayer, the deceiver 
of my youth ; to him do I owe — yes, to 
him" added the artful Florentine, " that 
first my soul wandered from the paths of 
virtue! that I am now unworthy," hid- 
ing her countenance upon the bosom of 
her agitated lover, " to become ever more 
than the mistress of my Leonardo. ,, The 
heart of Leonardo become infinitely af- 
fected. Megalena proceeded : " This 
day I encountered him on the Laguna, ac- 
companied by a female : he passed me By 5 
he uttered words the mos"t gross, the most 
insulting ; I regarded him with horror and 
surprise painted in my looks ; when, fear- 
ful I suppose that the mere sight of me 
should contaminate the purity of his pre- 
sent love, he rudely waved his hand, with 
an air of scorn and indignation, as if to 

say, 



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ZOFLOt A ; OR, THE MOOR. 5P 

say, cc Impure wretch, how • darest thou 
appear to recognise me in the presence 
of a superior female? — Leonardo!" she 
pursued, furiously starting from her 
chair, strung with new rage by the rela- 
tion of the falsehoods she had invented-— ■ 
" Leonardo! shall I tamely submit to 
this? canst thou submit to it? Thi&to thy 
mistress — it is for that he dies! — thy love 
has ennobled me, and I will not now suf* 
fer degradation tamely !" 

The high susceptible feelings of Leo- 
nardo, thus artfully played upon, became 
^enkindled : he participated in her welt 
feigned outraged delicacy, so flattering 
to his own self-love; but still the revenge 
was dreadful to his mind, proportioned, 
too, far beyond the offence. 

Perceiving that, though his cheek glow- * 
ed with indignation, and his eyes with ar- 
d 6 dent 



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60 zofloya; OR, TUB MOOR. 

dent love, that still he spoke not, deter- 
mined, tb£n, to work him to the pitch 
she required, she resumed : 

" Oh, Leonardo! if, in love for thee:, I 
have outstepped the bounds of delicacy 
and decorum, oh ! let me not, therefore/' 
with faltering voice, site pursued ; " let 
me not be with impunity outraged or 
trampled on by others I'* 

" No, no, no!" cried the overpowered 
Leonardo, raising her in his - arms ; 
t* no never, sweet mistress of my soul, 
while I have life 1 He who offends thee, 
dies!" 

" Thou art, then, thou art my own," 
cried the delighted Florentine 5 " that as- 
surance reanimates my sinking soul. Se- 
cure now of my cherished revenge, I will 
discuss with thee further the step* to be 

pursued : 



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ZQFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 61 

pursued: come, my beloved Leonardo, 
let us go to the supper room. 

Obedieqt to her will, Leonardo accom- 
panied her. Seated no\y at supper with 
the machinating Florentine, she, fearful 
that his enthusiastic ardour might relax, 
pledged hinrt repeatedly in goblets of the 
most potent wine ; taking sufficient care, 
however, to elude swallowing more her- 
self than would permit her to preserve 
her empire over him. As it fatally hap- 
pened for Leonardo, Megalena never ap- 
peared more beautiful to him than at. 
those times when she /was urging him to 
the commission of some horrible evil ; so 
that deeds, however repugnant' to his na- 
ture, and the loss of her love, bore in hi* 
deluded eyes no comparison. Megalena 
wellaware of this, by appearing in her 
conduct and by her language as though 
she considered herself to have received 

his 



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62 ZOFLOYA ; 0#, THE MOOR. 

his promise of avenging her, took from 
him in fact the power of refusing to do 
so. riow to acknowledge to her, that 
his soul, shuddering, recoiled from the 
idea of murder, he knew. not. From his 
knowledge of her disposition, he shrunk 
at encountering her direful rage, her bitter 
reproaches, and resentful looks ; but more 
he shrunk even in thought from the pos- 
sibility of her abandoning him, and, with 
a violent but expiring struggle, he de- 
cided in his mind to acquiesce, and give 
up every attempt to alter the current of 
events. As the fumes of the wine mount- 
ed to his brain, the reasoning of principle 
subsided, and the delusions of fancy in- 
creased. The Florentine became every 
moment more beautiful in his sight, and 
he began to think, that, inker cause, crime 
itself must become a virtue. She who, 
as she had persuaded him, seduced by, 
her wild unconquerable love towards 

him, 



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- fcOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 68 

him, to forego and cast aside every prin- 
ciple of delicacy ; she who had braved for 
him the scorn and contumely of the 
world; who h^d even this day, through 
)iim,as he conceived, endured gross insult; 
— no, it was no longer the representations 
of his lovely mistress which aroused him, 
but honor, justice, and gratitude. So 
wild and erring, in the increasing heat of 
intoxication, reasoned and. believed the 
deluded Leonardo. It was now him who 
led to, and followed up the subject, while 
the exulting Megalena, by a s refinement 
of artifice, added fuel to the fire she had 
excited, without appearing to do so. 

At length, unable to contain the burn- 
ing rage she inspired him with, he started 
suddenly up, and drinking down an over- 
flowing goblet of Lacrymae Christi, he 
prepared to rush from the house, without 
even taking the necessary precaution of a 

cloak 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



64 ZOFLOYA; Ofc* THE MOOR. 

cloak and a mask, as enforced by Mer 
galena. For a moment she succeeded in 
calming him, but only to direct his furor 
to unerring and surer destruction. Co- 
vering his face with a mask, she armed 
him with a stiletto, which she took from 
her girdle, and covered his figure with a 
cloak; then, straining him in her arms, 
she cried, "Success attend thee !" 

Strung anew by her seductive embrace, 
stiletto in hand, he flew from the house, 
to plunge the deadly weapon in the heart 
of a man who had never injured him— 
whom even* he did not know. Such is 
the influence to be obtained by female 
profligacy over the warm feelings of un- 
aided youth. 

Directed by the subtle enchantress, 
Leonardo easily gained the palhizzp of 
Berenza. As it had been a night of fes- 
tivity 



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ZOFLOYA; pR* THE MOOR. 05 

tivity^he found an easy access to the house, 
and, unobserved, into the chamber, where 
he concealed himself behind a wide 
curtain that covered a window, which, as 
has bfeen said, opened into a balcony. 
On hearing Berenza and Victoria enter, 
he had stepped into it for greater security, 
and perceived, with no indifferent feeling, 
that it would, in cate of necessity, afford 
him an opportunity of escape. There, in 
a state of mind bewildered, yet dreading 
to be reabonable, he remained till occasion 
seemed favorable for the execution of his 
purpose: the success it met with has been 
already related. To a hand renderedun- 
steady by a confused consciousness of- the 
meditated crime, was added the intense 
and overpowering horror of at once re- 
cognising a sister, and burying in the same 
moment (as he believed) his dagger in 
her heart. Wild and dismayed, preci- 
pitately 



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66 ~ KOFLOYAj OR, THE KfOOR. 

pitately he had fled, a murderer m thought, 
at least, if not in deed, and sought, in a 
state of mind inexpressible, the vile 
Strozzi, who, like Sin, sat expecting to 
hear tidings of death, 

" Well," exclaimed she, starting from 
the restless couch where she had thrown 
herself, as, pale and disordered, the un- 
happy Leonardo rushed into the room, 
his mask in his hand, and his vest torn 
open to admit the air to * his burning 
bosom: « Well, is it done?" 

" Yes,, yes, vengeance is executed upon 
one of your enemies," he cried, in hurried 
accents. 

c< Upon the false, the infamous Berenza, 
I hope," eagerly returned Megalena, ap- 
proaching and gazing in his pallid face. 

"No, 



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30FL0YA; OE, THE MOOE. 67 

"No, no, upon my sister ! n gloomily 
answered Leonardo, . 

" Your sister! You rave, young coward/' 
cried Megalena, shaking him by the arm. 

" I do not — I have mortally wounded 
Victoria di Loredani, my sister! wounded 
her mortally in the arms of him* for whom 
my dagger was intended !" 

" Thy sister, thy sister !" in a voice of 
fiend-like exultation, cried the infamous 
Strozzi;— yet secretly enraged that Be- 
renza had not perished, and thrown by the 
furor of disappointment off her guard. — 
"Then Megalena Strozzi is not the only 
fallen 4 female upon earth ; no longer need 
she *bow her, head with shame to the 
ground—for Laurina, mother to the heir 
of Loredani! and Victoria, his sister 7 

both 



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68 ZOFLOYAjOR, THE MOOR. 

both high and noble ladies, raise her to 
their level by sinking to hers /—.Oh, this 
is a balm to my soul," she continued, 
clapping her hands with a wild laugh 5 
< c Berenza, proud and accomplished se- 
ducer 1 the woman. who loves thee may 
sacrifice to thee her innocence and her 
fame; but thou wilt never sacrifice to her 
thy liberty, or grant her thy honorable t 
love!" — Thus continued the unfeeling 
Florentine, wreaking upon the wretched 
Leonardo the avenging scorpions of her 
tongue, for having failed in the precise 
purport of his dreadful mission. This was 
the first time, since their ill-advised union, 
that she had ventured to breathe aught 
concerning, much less taunt him with the 
agonising secret of his family misfortunes! 
His high soul sickened and shrunk within 
him at allusions so barbarous: for an in- 
stant he regarded with horror the infamous 
Strozzi 1 he essayed to speaks but could 

not, 



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ZOFJLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 69 

not, and, overpowered with, violent and 
conflicting emotions, he fell postrate on 
the floor. 

If was then Megalena began to think, 
and even admitted the conviction, that she 
had proceeded too far ; she almost feared 
that, by the inhuman stab she had given 
to the high feelings of the youth, 
she had destroyed for ever in his he^rt 
every particle of love for herself. This 
reflection served in an instant to change 
the tenor of her conduct 2 from the 
malice of rage and disappointment, she 
softened to the suggestions of her inte- 
rest, which whispered to her, that in 
losing now the regards and future devote- 
ment of Leonardo, upon which she cal- 
culated much, she should lose her all. 

Throwing herself beside him, therefore, 
she passionately implored his forgiveness, 

and 



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70 ZOFLOYA.J or, the moor. 

and sought, by the repetition of every 
well-tried artifice, to soothe and alleviate 
the agonising tumult she had excited. By 
degrees her blandishments began to pre- 
vail over the infatuated youth $ andevfen 
the horfriblfe recollection^ she had awak- 
ened in his mind, of his being in reality 
& disgraced and wandering outcast, drew 
him but more dosely to her, whb, know- 
ing him for what he was, still lbved; and 
took an intferfest in his fate. Hfe adored 
her, though she hfcd wounded him to the 
soul, and, when to her caresses and ardent 
professions of eternal attachment She 
solicited some feply, he raised her in his 
arms, as kneeling she bent over him, and; 
pressing her with violent emotioh to his 
bosom, passionately cried J »• 

" Megalefta, I am thine stil l yes, 1 
feel that I am* and shall be so for ever /— 
Oh, lovely and sedufcing woman, eternal 

must 



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iotLOTA;' OR, THE MOOR; 71 

must thy empire be over me ; and, if 1 
forsake thee* may the curse of Heaven 
light upon rtiy head !" 

u Then," cried the Florentine, de- 
lighted at the strength and solemnity of 
this assurance, *< let us from this moment 
be eternally devoted to each other! let 
us sweaty that nor time, accident, nor 
circumstance, shall ever disupite us !" 

€€ I swear," answered Leonardo ar^ 
dently* " I swear it again ;" and kissed 
With rapture the extended hand of Mega- 
lena; 

" Rebeive tbo thy oath of perpfetual 
allegiance to thee, loved yoiith," ^vlth 
ardour, exclaimed the Flbrcntine, ".for 
- 1 solemnly swear to be ever true, and de- 
voted to thee. « Now thcni" she added 
more Calmly, " let all past differences 



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?2 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

be buried in oblivion, and the more ma* 
terial circumstances of the moment ob- 
tain bur consideration*" 

•Seating herself beside Leonardo, she 
then desired a minuter detail of the oc- 
currences of the night ; when suddenly, in 
the midst of his relation, she missed the 
dagger whicb she had given to him ! Her 
high-flushed cheek became immediately 
blanched by terror, and eagerly she inter- 
rupted him to ask him concerning it. In 
ail instant the recollection flashed Upon 
his mind, that, in endeavouring to recover 
his ma$k, he had never thought of retriev- 
ing his dagger likewise, which he did 
not even, remember to have drawn from 
the bosom of Victoria, where fully he be- 
lieved himself to have plunged it. Such 
had been the horror and agitation of his 
mind, he could retrace nothing distinctly $ 
yet the dagger unquestionably was left 

behind 



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Z0PL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 7S 

behind, and this was enough to distract 
the Florentine, 

Gasping for breath, " We are undone !" 
she cried, " we are betrayed; for on the 
hilt of that dagger is engraved, at full 
length, the name of " Megalena Strozzi!" 

Leonardo was silent, for he dreaded 
the reproaches which he almost felt he 
merited. 

Suddenly recovering, however, her pre- 
sence of mind, she exclaimed : " We 
must fly, we must fly instantly ; the night 
is not yet spent; before day-break Ave 
may be far from this detested city. To 
some future period must I defer the com- 
pletion of my just revenge !— You tremble, 
young man ; but let us hope," she added 
with a horrible smile, cc th^t you will not 

vol. ii. e always 



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74 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

always be thus dismayed at the thought 
of blood ; — why, Leonardo, thou art not 
half a Venetian!" 

« Am I not, Megalena? When occasion 
calls, I can prove myself one ; but I feel 
that, were I even abject by blood, and in 
my heart, that thou couldst render me 
equal to any 'thing." Still, as he spoke, 
his eyes refused to meet the unshrinking 
gaze of the Florentine. 

« We shall fly then together, beloved 
Leonardo," said she, u and I shall not so 
much regret our enforced departure from 
this gay city; for, now to be frank with 
thee, my love, my resources diminish 
daily: this place affords me no longer 
the exhaustless mine I once imagined it 
- would ; the Venetians have become wary, 
or can it be, that / am changed from 

beauty 



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fcOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 75 v 

beauty to deformity? Be it as it may, we 
will quit it unreluctantly, and let us hope 
that elsewhefe better fortune may be 
ours." 

Though some parts of Megalena's speech 
had surprised Leonardo, he forbore (un- 
willing/ to diminish her fascinations in 
his own eyes,) to require more ample ex- 
planation $ he took her hand hastily, and * 
said 

cc I will follow thee, fair Megalena, 
wheresoever ^hou wilt, even unto the end 
of my life, as we have mutually sworn/* 

Smiles of pleasure chased from the 
brow of the Florentine the gloomy 
traces of rage, and unsatisfied revenge ; 
she looked upon her lover with eyes of 
gratitude, and ardent affection : he was 
indeed become her all, her sole depend- 
e 2 ance 



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76 ZOPLOYA ; OR, THE- MOOR. 

ance in the plans of her future life j for, 
vicious, profligate, and unsteady, though 
still, not past the zenith of her charms, 
they were deemed so far from coun- 
terbalancing the violent passions which 
deformed her mind, that she had but few 
admirers among the jealous and suspi- 
cious Venetians. 

She now hastened from the room to 
make every preparation for an immediate 
flight : in less then two hours, she had 
gathered together all the valuables she 
possessed, and which were capable of 
being taken with them — every requisite 
was arranged, and the grey eye of the 
morning beheld them far from Venice. 

Unhappy Laiirina ! whose criminal de- 
sertion of thine offspring entailed upon 
them such misery and degradation. In 
this early career of their lives, behold the 

guilt 



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/.OFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 77 

guilt and unworthiness for which thou 
art amenable. Yet, darker stifl, and dis- 
figured by greater crimes, will be the days 
which are to come. Faultless example 
vvould have shamed into efforts of virtue, 
the proud and violent nature of thy daugh- 
teri yet behold her now, without even a 
remorseful struggle, abandoning its pre- 
cepts. Thy son, the dark hue of his 
character decided, the slave of an artful 
worthless wanton, who presumes, and 
justly presumes, to 'call herself thy equal! 
while, through a terrible and unforeseen 
combination of events, he has bee'ri on 
the eve of becoming the murderer of 
his sister!— Tremble, unfortunate and 
guilty mother, for longer and more 
gloomy beconies the register of thy 
crimes! 



e % CHAP. 



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7$ ZOFLOYA} OR, THE MOOR. 



CHAP. XVI. 



I he letter, which was' written by Mega- 
lena Strozzi, and which, from an obscure 
spot in the island of Capri, she had 
caused to be conveyed to Berenza, has 
been already given at full in a preceding 
part of this history ; and was received, as 
stated, about a fortnight after the mutual 
flight ,of Leonardo and herself, well 
knowing that pursuit must then be vain, 
and (from the precautions they had taken) 
to trace their route impossible. Still un-» 
determined where eventually to fix, but 
resolving to be guided by circumstances 
respecting their future plans, we must 
now, for a considerable length of time, 

leave 



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ZOFLOYA* OR, THE MOOR. 79 

leave them, and return to the thread of 
our narrative. , 

Youth, and that strength of mind 
which precluded hypochondriac malady, 
did not permit Victoria to languish long 
under the effects of her wound \ she grew 
rapidly convalescent, but, during her in- 
evitable confinement, externa^ objects 
not intervening much to distract her 
regards by flattering her vanity, she had 
full leisure to concentrate her great and 
varied powers into one point— that of 
rendering herself an object of such mo- 
ment to her lover, that he should consider, 
with horror, the bare possibility of losing 
her, and be anxious to bind her more 
completely his, by ties esteemed indis* 
soluble. 

But such had already been the effect 

produced upon Berenza, by conduct 

£ 4 which 



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fO ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

which he could not help considering 
proof of the most heroic love, as well 
as courage; that he no longer viewed her 
with tender passion only, but with the 
strongest sentiments of gratitude and en- 
thusiastic admiration. 

What could woman more, than volun- 
tarily, nay eagerly, oppose her own life 
in defence of his? Who but Victoria 
could possess, at once, such tender and 
such exalted sentiments towards a lover ? 
Longer to doubt the truth, the romantic 
ardour of her attachment, would, he es- 
teemed, be sacrilege j his ideas underwent 
a wonderful, but natural revolution— no 
more the haughty Berenza, proud of his 
noble, his unsullied blood, fearing to dash 
it with a tincture of disgrace ! — no more 
looking d&wn, with protecting air, a hi£h 
and superior being, upon a mistress be- 
loved indeed, but not considered as an 

equal, 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 81 

equal, because, though innocent in rea- 
lity, in his eyes she was a scion of infamy 
and shame ;■— no, his heart bow throbbed 
with excessive tenderness, and now ached 
with compunctious pangs, that he could 
ever have deemed unworthy of his bono* 
rable love the creature before him, shin- 
ing superior in a glory emanating from 
herself 7— the creature to whom h6 now 
thpught himself inferior! So complete 
and powerful a dominion had the act of 
Victoria obtained over his mind, that his 
proud and dignified attachment, softened 
into a doating and idolatrous love. He 
was no longer the refined, the calculating 
philosopher, but- the yielding devoted 
lover ! devoted to the excess of his pas- 
sion. In short, he felt that now % to be 
happy, to conciliate his conscience, and 
to atone to Victoria for his past injustice, 
he must make her his wife. 

e 5 No 



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$3 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

No sooner had he formed this resolu- 
tion, than he believed himself to have 
discovered a balm for every thing, and to 
experience a pure sensation of delight , 
till now unknown. Unable long to con- 
tend against the strong impulse of his 
heart, he waited only for the re-establbh- 
ment of Victoria's health, to pour out his 
feelings at her feet, and to offer to her 
the unworthy gift of himself. 

When, therefore, he thought her suffi- 
ciently recovered, to permit him to touch 
upon a subject, that must, as he supposed, 
occasion some emotion, he no longer 
withheld himself from giving utterance 
to what had of late so often risen from an 
overflowing, heart to his lips. Victoria 
heard him with a look of complacency, 
and all that softness she knew so well 
how, to assume; but pride haying always 
kept her from surmising the struggles of 

Berenza 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 85 

Berenza upon her subject, and that he 
had not till this period offered to become 
her husband, because till this period he 
had deemed her unworthy to become his 
wife; having never surmised this, she 
betrayed no immediate emotion, or 
unspeakable delight ; no^ overpowering 
transport, or surprise; but listened to. 
him in silence, with an acquiescent smile. 
This being considered by Berenza as a 
coolness of demeanor uncongenial to the 
subject, he mentally attributed it to wound- 
ed pride in Victoria that he had not sooner 
made her an offer of his hand. His own 
noble delicacy caught the alarm, and 
* his liberal soul acknowledged the justice- 
of her feeling; anxious then to remove 
from her mind every uneasy impression, 
the ardour of his manner increased, and 
he prayed of Victoria to pardon the urj- 
worthiness of his past scruples. 

e,6 Here 



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84 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

Here Berenza <erredj had he stopped 
at the simple intention of offering his 
hand to Victoria, he had done right ; but 
his last insinuation, though broken and 
obscure, darted like lightning through her 
brain, and struck to her proud heart as a 
three-edged dagger! That proud heart had 
now indeed taken an alarm far beyond - 
any that Berenza's imagination could have 
conceived. Her brow lowered, she turned 
of an ashy paleness, as sudden hatred and 
desire of revenge took possession of her 
vindictive soul. The conviction flashed 
upon her, that she had till this moment 
been deemed by Berenza unworthy of 
becoming his wife. 

" The secret then is betrayed," thought 
she; " the sort of union into which he 
entered with me, and which vainly I 
preferred as a proof of his love for me, 
was desired by him only as being least 

offensive 



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fcOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 85 

offensive to his dignity and pride- 'tis 
we ll " 

Rapidly these ideas passed through the 
mind of Victoria ; and, while secretly vow- 
ing the offence should never be forgotten, 
x she again harmonised her features, and 
clothed them with smiles: since such had 
been the sentiments of Berenza, it now 
became unquestionably a desirable point 
to become at once his wife. To have 
triumphed by any means over, his stern 
and detested pride was something, but it 
could not obliterate the crime of having 
ever dared to view her in an inferior light. 
Unhappy Berenza! all thy delicacy, thy 
forbearance, and nobleness of mind, will 
jiot save thee from the consequences of 
having proceeded thus far. 

The changes of Victoria's countenance 
were only attributed by her lover to an 

uncon- 



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96 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

unconquerable emotion, which she strug- 
gled to conceal, at this undeniable proof 
of the strength of his attachment to her; 
delicately solicitous to raise her in her 
own eyes, he, with pressing earnestness, 
entreated of her a prompt compliance to 
their union, Victoria fixed upon him her 
eyes, pregnant with an unusual expression, 
for busy were her evil thoughts against him. 

" Why is that look, my love?" inquired 
Berenza., 

" I look upon thee as I love thee!" 
answered Victoria. 

u And thou wilt be mine — honorably 
and solemnly mine, then?" said Berenza, 
with eagerness, 

€€ I will ; answered Victoria— I most 
ardently desire to become thy wife." 

Berenza, 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 87 

Berenza, who understood nothing by 
these expression but simply what met 
the ear, viewed ,her with an increase of 
tenderness -and admiration ; for it is* a 
principle in human nature to exalt in 
our minds those objects we are deter- 
mined to favor and elevate. 

A very short period from this beheld 
Victoria di Loredani the wife of II Conte 
Berenza ; and becoming so, her faults in 
the eyes of an admiring husband were 
wholly obliterated, and her better quali- 
ties appeared to shine forth with redoubled 
effect. 

With what . a different and far more 
refined feeling "did he now walk with her 
in St. Mark's Place, or exhibit her on the 
Laguna, amid thousands of gay Venetians, 
in their gondolas. With what pleasure, 
with what delight, with an air how un- 

. embarrassed, 



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88 ZOFtOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

embarrassed, did he now introduce, as his 
wife> to an elegant arid respectable so- 
ciety, her whom he could have felt but 
a vain and inconsiderable triumph in in- 
troducing as his mistress to the gay and 
dissolute ! In having made his Victoria 
an honorable wife, he experienced a noble 
and benevolent satisfaction, which had for 
its basis the reflection of having raised to 
a level with the higher class of society, her 
"whom he might have been instrumental 
in sinking to that of the lowest. 

But though the conduct of the refined 
Berenza was such as to claim and to de- 
serve the highest gratitude and love, the 
vindictive spirit of Victoria could not for- 
get that he had once deemed her unworthy 
' of ranking on an equality with himself; 
for this, in her moments of solitude, her 
heart swelled with unforgiving hate: she 
despised and undervalued the advantages 

she 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 89 

she possessed, and fed the discontented 
repinings of her' mind, by recalling to 
memory the moment when he unfortu- 
nately betrayed the state of his sentiments 
respecting her. , Sometimes she even re- 
gretted that, under circumstances so hu- 
miliating, she had consented to become 
his wife, and almost determined to shew 
her contempt of his fancied condescen- 
sion, by abandoning him. If at these 
times her unconscious husband by chance 
obtruded, he was received with a gloomy 
and discohtented . air, which, when he 
pressed her to explain, she attributed 
either to indisposition, or an involuntary 
depression of spirits^ 

When the mind is dissatisfied, whether 
upon grounds just or unjust, it ever views 
objects through an exaggerated medium ; 
trifles which, when in a sane state, would 

have 



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90 zoJloyjl; or, the moor. 

have passed unnoticed, are twisted from 
their proper insignificance, to aid the con- 
ceptions of a disturbed imagination. Thus 
wfcs it with Victoria : she knew, and felt, 
that Berenza was her superior, » and she 
imagined that he must feel it likewise; 
every word, every look, every action, she 
thought reproached her with her former 
degradation, and the abjectness from 
which it had pleased him to raise her. 
Her fits of gloom and abstraction in- 
creased ; she forbore to cultivate any so- 
ciety^ from a sentiment of most unpar- 
donable pride— pride which, like a worm 
in the heart, the more it was cherished the 
more corroded - 9 and the luckless Berenza 
was sometimes, in the momentary sting of 
disappointed hope, compelled to acknow- 
ledge, that though the situation of a wife 
might have rendered more respectable the 
object of his love, it had for ev*r de* 

stroyed 



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ZOFLDYA; OR, THI MOOR. , 91 

stroyed the charms and fascinations of 
the mistress: yet still he loved her with 
the tendefest, the truest affection. 

Five years had now rolled on since a 
union but little productive of real happi- 
ness to either party, when, one evening, a 
violent ringing at the gate of the pal- 
lazzo bespoke the approach of an impa- 
tient visitor. Soon a stranger was an- 
nounced, and almost in the same moment 
entered the saloon. Bereriza rose from his 
chair, but scarcely did he cast a glance 
towards him ere he flew into the arms 
that opened to receive him, exclaiming, 
" Welcome to Venice 1 welcome home, my 
beloved Henriquez !" Then, turning to- 
wards Victoria, as surprise and delight 
permitted him to recover himself, " Be- 
hold a beloved brother, my Victoria," he 
said; cc and ypu, my brother, behold an 

adored 



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32 ZOFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR. 

adored wife: now, now, indeed, may I 
expect to be truly happy/' 

• Henriquez pressed the hand of his. bro- 
ther, and paid some graceful compliments 
to Victoria, who, gaz ; ng upon him with 
admiration, in an instant drew ungrateful 
comparisons between their persons, to the 
disadvantage of him in whom her soul 
should have discerned no fault. But that 
benevolent and unsuspicious being seated 
himself between them, and felt, as he de- 
served to be, truly happy. 

Hitherto it has not been thought requi- 
site to enlarge materially upon the cause 
that induced the departure and stay of 
Berenza's brother from Venice. It has 
been hinted, however, that it was to divert, 
if possible, by activity and change of 
icene, the ardour and impetuosity of a 

jpassion 



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XOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. $S 

passion that he had conceived for a young 
hdy, whose father had, on the plea of their 
mutual youth, opposed their union, but 
who in reality was desirous only of ob- 
taining a higher match for the blooming 
Lilla, his daughter, at that period little 
more than thirteen years of age i for al- 
though he could not bestow upon her the 
smallest dowry, he conceived that the 
nobility" of her birth entitled her to the 
first Duca in Venice. The circumstance 
of his having lately become deceased; 
which event Lilla, in corresponding with, 
had imparted to her lover, was the means 
of bringing him thus in anxious eagerness 
to Venice, fondly hoping that now every 
obstacle to their union -was removed, which 
still remained the first fond wish of his 
bosom, undiminished by time or an ab- 
sence of years ; for where, as with impas- 
sioned earnestness he demanded of him- 
self, could he ever hope to find in another 

that 



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94 SOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

that purity and innocence which his heart 
told him still dwelt incorruptible in the 
bosom of his young and lovely mistress? 

Berenza, to whom, during supper, he 
related the delighful cause of his sudden 
return, and dwelt with all the ardour of a 
lover upon the fond hope he entertained 
of being soon enabled to call Lilla his, 
fohdly took pleasure in flattering him that 
nothing indeed was now likely to disap- 
point the desires of his heart. Victoria 
listened in silence to the conversation, and 
an indefinite sentiment, resembling regret, 
glanced through hfer bosom, when she 
thereby discovered that the affections of 
the young Henriquez were so deeply en* 
gaged/ 

At length fhey separated for the night: 
the lover to dream of the fair creature that 
in the morning he hoped to embrace; and 

the 



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ZOFLOYA; OB, ^HE MOOR. 95 

the disturbed Victoria to arrange, if pos- 
sible, the confusion of idea that floated in 
her mind. 

Scarcely had the first beams of morning 
enlightened the east, ere Henriquez awak- 
ed, ardent and impatient to visit the object 
of. his love. Soon as propriety might in 
the least admit, he flew to her residence : 
the fair Lilla received bim indeed with all 
the warmth, with all the affection he could 
have wished, but his buoyant hopes were 
quelled by what she said in reply to his 
eager solicitations to become immediately 
his. 

Her father was indeed dead, but still 
impediments existed ; she was uncfer the 
protection of an ancient female relative, 
wha with herself had remained with him 
in his last moments. It was the dying 
Tequest, nay command of that father, (cruel 

and 



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96 20FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

and relentless even in death,) that she 
should not marry till the expiration of a 
whole year from the time that he should 
be consigned to' the earth. To this she 
had solemnly and implicitly promised obe- 
dience, and to this requisition, hard as it 
was, she professed to Henriquez her fixed 
resolution to adhere. 

.Educated in sentiments of the severest 
piety, it was in her idea a sacred and 
religious obligation in her to fulfil a pro- 
mise to the dying ; nay, she would have 
deemed it horrible sacrilege even to hesi- 
tate or waver respecting its performance ; 
and all the entreaties of her lover to 
make her forego adherence to what he 
considered an arbitrary and most unjust 
command, were not only vain, but tended 
almost toj>hake him in her long and deep- 
rooted sentiments of esteem, by giving her 
doubts of his moral character. Little more 

than 



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-^ ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 97* 

than one month had as yet elapsed, since 
the interment of the tyrannical parent; 
nearly a whole year even now must roll ' 
over their heads, ere they could become 
united; yet even against this grievous 
representation on the side of Heririquez 
the, pious Lilla was proof, and, with a 
heart nearly as agonised as if he had 
been compelled to resign for ever his 
hopes, the unhappy lover returned to his 
brother's pallazzo. 

His first impulse was to seek him in 
private, and relate to him the disappoint- 
ment of his wishes with Lilla* The kind 
Berenza listened with attentive sympathy, 
and it occurred to him that, since Liila 
Would not immediately become the wife' 
of Henriquez, the pains of delay might 
be infinitely alleviated by prevailing on 
her to become a constant visitor at the 
pallazzo, which, as Berenza was now 

vol. xx» f married, 



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9$ 20FLOYAJ OR, T1£E MOO*. 

married, and she herself under the pro- 
tection of a female relative who would - 
always accompany her„ could not cer- 
tainly fee in the least an objectionable 
alternative. This was indeed pouring^ 
balm into " the wounds of Henriquez i 
scarcely \vouId the eager and impassioned 
youth permit his brother to conclude, ere 
He rushed from his presence, and appeared 
^gain before his beloved Lilla, to impart 
to her the proposition of Berenza, and to 
implore her to accede to it. This the 
scrupulous, and innocent girl offered no 
objection to, and the heart of her lover 
was once" more rendered comparatively 
light. 

On the evening of the sapis d^y sbe 
consented, accompanied by her relation, 
to visit Victoria ; . for it was under that 
shape- atope that Henrique? had ventured 
tQ propose her seeing hipi at the paltezzo 

of 



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ZOFLOYAJ CfR, THE MOOR. 99 

of his brother: he then once more de- 
parted, and related to Berenza his second 
attempt, with the success it had met upon 
the conscientiousness and delicacy of his 
mistress. 

In the evening, according to promise,- 
the fair girl made her appearance, and 
was by Henriquez introduced to the 
Conte and to Victoria, as his destined 
wife: but never, ah, surely never, -was 
unconscious guest received with feelings 
and with thoughts so hostile as was the 
innocent Lilla by Victoria ! Yet still the 
smile played uf : on the disciplined features, 
of the accomplished hypocrite, and the 
hand was extended to bid her welcome. 

Throughout the evening her conduct- 
was such as to excite a timid gratitude 
and respect in the ^breast of her lovely 
visitor, and to make her appear admirable 
F 2 in 



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100 ZOFLOYAJ OR, TftE MOOR. 

in the eyes of the delighted Henriquez. 
Why were unreal, appearqnces that shed 
around such pure ? expansive satisfaction ? 
Dark and dreadful are the intricacies of 
the human heart, when debased as was 
Victoria's. Almost unknowing to herself, 
she conceived immediate hatred for the 
orphan 'Lilla, because she was dear, be- 
cause she was beloved by Henriquez,-and 
Henriquez had appeared charming in her 
eyes. It was. the early influence ""of this 
new-born sentiment that bad generated 
one so base, and Victoria's was ,not a 
noble and an honorable mind, that would 
combat iri itself feelings that were im- 
proper to be indulged ; rather would she 
have sought their gratification, unmindful 
of the' misery that might be produced to 
others. ) 



CHAP. 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 101 




CHAP. XVII. 

As though the curse of Laurina were 
entailed upon her daughter, (that of be- 
coming absorbed by a guilty and devour- 
ing flame, with the single exception that, 
in the case of the former, the heart and ' 
mind 'had been inoolnntarity seduced by 
a designing betrayer, while the other 
cherished and encouraged an increasing 
passion for one who attempted her not, 
and which common honor should have - 
taught her to repel), Victoria dwelt with 
unrestrained delight upon the attractions 
of the object, that had presented itself 
to her fickle and ill-regulated mind. 
From her infancy untaught, therefore un- 
accustomed to subdue herself, she had 
no conception of that refined species of 
* v f 3 virtue 



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102 ZOFLOYAs OR> THE MOOR. 

virtue which consists- in self- den iaj \ the 
proud triumph of mind over the weak- 
ness of the heart, she had ever been un- 
conscious ofj education had never cor- 
rected the evil propensities that were by 
nature hers: hence pride, stubbornness, 
the gratification of self, contempt and igno- 
rance of the nobler properties of the mind, 
with a Strong tincture of the darker pas- 
sions, revenge, hate, and cruelty, made up 
the sum of her early, character. Exam~ 
ple, a mother's example, had more than 
corroborated every tendency to evil, and 
the unhappy Victoria was destitute of a 
single actuating principle, that might, in 
consideration of its guilt, deter her from 
the pursuit of a favorite object. Her 
mind, alas, was an eternal night* which 
the broad beam of virtue never illu- 
mined. 

Henriquez was the subject of her 

thoughts 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, *HI MOOR. 103 

thoughts by day; he employed her fancy 
by night ; his form presented itself if she 
awoke ; he figured m her dfeahis if she 
slumbered ; daily, nay momentarily, her 
unchecked passien acquired strength: 
already she viewed with disgust, height- 
ened by unfading remembrance of the sen- 
timents he had once entertained respecting 
her, the being who had claims so strong 
upon her gratitude and affection. 

For the young Lilla she cherished- the. 
most unprovoked and the bitterest hate ; 
the hot breath she respired was charged 
with wishes for her destruction ; yet each, 
and all of these beings,were unconscious of 
the feelings they inspired ; for the honor- 
able • Berenza, whose mild philosophy 
taught him it was "only just to conclude 
that love induced love, and proofs of es- 
teem gratitude, regarded his wife with 
an unvarying tenderness. The innocent 
f 4 Lilla 



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104 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

Lillai placed confidence in her smiles, and 
N courteous demeanor; while Henriquez, 
absorbed in the contemplation of an 
adored mistress, remarked not. the impas- 
sioned glances of ariother directed to- 
wards him, nor the pointed attentions by 
which they were at times accompanied. 

Eminently indeed calculated to excite an 
ardent love in youth, was the mind and per- 
son of the orphan Lilla. Pure, innocent, 
free even from the smallest taint of a cor- 
rupt though t,was her mind s delicate, syra- 
, metrical, and of fairy-like beauty, her per- 
son so small, yet of so just proportion ; 
sweet, expressing a seraphic serenity of 
soul, seemed her angelic countenance, 
slightly suffused with the palest hue of 
the virgin rose. Long flaxen hair floated 
over her shoulders : she might bave per- 
sonified (were the ideq. allowable) inno- 
. cence in the days of her childhood. Her 

very 



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ZOfLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 105 

very situation had a powerful claim upon 
the heart of sensibility, for the blooming 
Lilla was an orphan: no ostensible pro- 
tector had she under the face of heaven, 
since an old and feeble relative, whose 
very existence from day to day appeared 
precarious, could not justly be deemed 
so; this very circumstance it was, that 
drew most powerfully towards her the be- 
nevolent soul of Berenza, and ardently 
he longed for the expiration of the allot- 
ted year, that she might obtain,, in the 
arms of his brQther, a safe and honorable 
refuge. 

.\ 
Time rolled on, and the effervescence of 
Victoria's mind increased almost to mad- 
ness. Nothing but th$ consideration of 
the proposed marriage between Henri- 
quez and Lilla being* in conformance 
with the religious scruples of the latter, 
protracted, kept her within the bounds 
F5 . of 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



106 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOIf. - 

of discretion, necessary even for the ac- 
complishment of her own purpose. But 
as she beheld time passing away, and that 
$till Henriquez, the idpl of her thoughts, 
remained wholly insensible to the most 
open insinuations, almost avowals of 
the feelings he had excited, .she be- 
came nearly frantic with desperation, and 
* resolved to risk every thing to obtain her 
point. 

The most wild and horrible ideas 
took possession of her brain ; crimes of 
the deepest dye her imagination could 
conceive appeared as nothing, opposed 
to the possibility of obtaining a return of 
love from Henriquez. To see him, and 
to see him bestowing upon the envied 
Litta marks of ^ the tenderest attach- 
ments, made her wild with the furor of 
conflicting passions : now. it was, that she 
truly felt she had never limed the mjured 

Berenza, 



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ZOPLOYA; OR, T*fE *JOOR, 107 

Berenza $ but that circumstances, the si- 
tuation of the moment, and a combina- 
tion of events alone, had first induced 
her to attend, and ultimately to fly to 
him, as the only being who would afford 
her protection. She now viewed him as 
a philosophic sensualist alone, whose con- 
duct towards her hdd been solely ac-^ 
tuated by selfish motives. Was he not 
Considerably her superior in years? It was 
plain, then, that his regard for her had 
been of the most unworthy kind,, and his 
anxiety to ascertain her love for him, ere 
he took advantage of the situation into 
which she had thrown herself, a refine- 
ment of the grossest artifice. But Hen- 
riqtiez, the lovely Henriquez, was more 
upon an equality with hey, and it was for 
him that the selfish Berenza should hsw<sr 
-reserved her. 

Thus it was, that she ungratefully re- 
f 6 fleeted 



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108 20FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

fleeted upon the delicate and noble con- 
duct of the Conte towards her ! forgot-: 
ten all his honorable forbearance, despised 
his refined and disinterested attachment;, 
and thus it is, that in the pursuance of 
spme favorite object, thewicked depre- 
ciate the benefits they have received. 

Retiring one nigHt to her chamber, 
more gloomy, more repining than, ever, 
she threw herself upon her bed, secretly 
wishing that Berenza, that Lilla, .nay, 
even the whole world, (if it stood be* 
'tween her and the attainment of her 
object,) could become instantly annihi- 
lated. Her bosom ached with the ex^ 
hausting conflict of the, most violent 
passions; death and destruction entered 
her thoughts, and twice she started up, as 
impelled to execute some dreadful pur- 
pose, she knew not what ! Horrible 
images possessed her train, and her heart 

seemed 



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30FL0YAJ OR, THE MOOR. 109 

seemed burning with an intense and un- 
quenchable fire. She became even her- 
self astonished, at the .violence of the sen- 
sations which shook her, and for an in- 
stant believed hejsejf under the influence 
of some superior and unknown power. 

Transported nearly beyond the bounds 
of reason ; almost expecting* in the wild- 
ness of her distempered fancy, to behold 
somewhat that should corroborate her 
Idea, perhaps even to soothe the agony 
of her bosom; she started up again 
from her thorn-strewed pillow ! But no— 
all was peaceful without — the rage and 
the confusion was in her. breast ! A dim 
flight, at the further end of the chamber, 
emitting a few solitary rays, revealed the 
surrounding loneliness and gloomy she 
"pVessed her hand on her throbbing tern- • 
pies, her heart beat with violence j and/ 

once 



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110 zqfloya; or, the moor. 

once more overpowered, she laid her 
head upon her pillow. 

At length she fell into a clistwrbed slum** 
ber ; dreams of mysterious tendency be*- 
gan to flit in the disordered eye of sleep. 
First she beheld, in a beautiful and luxuri- 
ous garden, Lilla and Henfiquez; his arm 
encircled her waist, and her head reclined 
upon his shoulder, while he contemplated 
her angelic countenance with looks of 
ineffable love. At this vision, a deep 
groan broke in sleep from the miserable 
Victoria j she endeavoured to turn ber 
eyes from them, but could not, and^ while* 
the most horrible and raging pains shot 
through her heart, they suddenly disappear- 
ed from before her, and she found herself 
alone, in a remote part of the garden. 
Presently she beheld, approaching for- 
wards her, a group of shaduwy figures; 

they 



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ZOfcLOYA; OR* THE, MOOR. Ill 

they appeared to hover in mid air, but 
at no great distance from the earth, and, 
as they came nearer, she discerned, that 
though of a deadly paleness, their fea- 
tures were beautiful and serene. .These 
passed gradually; when, as if from the. 
midst of them, she beheld advancing a 
Moor, of a noble and majestic form. He 
was clad in a habit of white and gold ; on - 
his head he wore a white turban, which 
sparkled with emeralds^ and was sur- 
mounted by a waving feather of green y 
his arms and legs, which were bare, 
were encircled with the finest oriental 
pearl ; he wore a collar of gold round his 
throat, and his ears were decorated with 
gold rings of an enormous size. 

Victoria contemplated this figure with 
an inexplicable awe, and,- as she gazed, 
he bent his knee, and extended hjs arms 
towards her.. While in this attitude, her 

mind 



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112 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 

mind filled with terror, she looked upon 
him with dread, and essaying to fly, she 
stumbled and awoke. 

Reflecting on her dream, she could at- 
tribute it only to the disturbed state of her 
mind $ and, desirous if possible to forget 
-for a few moments her pain, she again 
endeavoured tf> sleep. 

Scarcely had thpught become again -sus- 
pended, ere fancy took the lead ; she now 
saw herself in a church brilliantly illumi- 
nated, when, horrible to. her eyes, ap- 
proaching the altar near which she stood, 
, appeared Lilla, led by Henriquez and at- 
tired as a bride ! In the instant that their 
hands were about to be joined, the Moor 
she had beheld in*, her preceding dream 
'appeared to start between them, and 
beckoned her towards him ; involuntarily 
she drew near him, and touched his hand, 

when 



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ZOFLOYA; OR> *HK MOOR. 113 

when Berenza stood at her side, and seiz- 
ing her arm, endeavoured to pull her 
away. " Wilt thou be mine?" in a hur- 
ried voice whispered the Moor in her ear, 
" and none then shall oppose thee." But 
Victoria hesitated, and cast her eyes upon 
Henriquez : the Moor stepped back, and 
again the hand of Henriquez became 
joined with I/illaV ■ " Wilt thou be 
mine?" exclaimed the Moor in a loud 
voiee, " and the marriage shall not be /" — 
, " Oh, yes, yes !" eagerly cried Victoria, 
overcome by intense horror at the thoughts 

of their union. In an instant slie oc- 

cupied the place of Lilla ; and Lilla, no 
longer the blooming maid, but a pallid 
spectre, fled shrieking throiigh the aisles 
of the church, while Berenza, suddenly 
wounded by an invisible hand, sunk Co- 
vered with blood at the foot -of the altar! 
Exaltation filled the bosom of Victoria ; 
she attempted to take the .hand of Hen- 
riquez; 



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11* ZOFLOXA; OR, THE MO&K. 

riquez; but casting her eyes upon himv 
she beheld him changed to a frightftil 
skeleton, and in terror awoke ! 

Her mind was now in a chaos of agita- 
tion and horror, from which she found it 
difficult to recover j endeavouring, how- 
ever, by a violent effort to recall her scat- 
tered ideas, and to resume her usual firm- 
ness, she became collected enough to re- 
view the leading features of her dream. . 

The image which, upon this review, pre- 
sented itself most forcibly to her mental 
vision, was that of the Moor, whose per-*, 
son she had a confused idea of having 
seen frequently before. After a minute's 
reflection, she identified him for Zofloya, 
the servant of Henriquez. Why lie should 
be connected with her dreams, who never 
entered her mind when waking, she could 
not divine: but certain it was, that his 

exact 



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ZOFLOYA, OR, THE MOOR. 115 

exact resemblance, though as *it were of 
polished and superior appearance, had 
figured chiefly in ber troubled sight. She 
next reverted to the terrible moment in 
which she beheld joined the hands of 
JLilla and Henriquez, but that Zofloya 
had offered to prevent the marriage. On 
this incident she pondered with a sensa- 
tion of pleasure, and Berenza, Weeding 
and dying at her feet, she contemplated 
as a> blissful omen of her success. The 
more she considered, the more she in- 
ferred, the less reason she perceived for 
interpreting ill the visions of the nighty 
and the conclusion which at length she 
drew was this* that every barrier to the 
gratification of her wishes would ulti- 
mately be destroyed, and that she should 
at length obtain Henrique^: all else she 
considered as irrevalent to the true pur- 
port of her dream, and the fantastic ebul- 
litions of a .disturbed mind. The fre- 
quent 



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116 ZQFLOYA; OR, THE MOOK. 

quent introduction of Zofloya she judged 
to be merely in consequence of her be- 
holding hirn daily, sometimes attending 
behind the chair of his master at meal 
times, and on other occasions; while Hen- 
riquez, changing to a skeleton when she 
obtained his hand, was emblematic only, 
she conceived, that he would be hers till 
death. 

The following day, when at a late hour 
she entered the apartment where they 
usually dined, the first object that caught 
her attention was the tall, commanding 
figure of the Mopr, standing near the 
chair of his rpaster; she almost started 
as she beheld him, and, the image in 
her dreams flashing upon her mirtd, she 
marked how exact was the similitude, in 
fornj, in features, and in dress. She seated 
herself, however, at the table, but involun- 
tarily stole frequent glances towards him: 

once 



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ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR^ 

'117 

once or twice she imagined that he looked 
upon her with, a peculiar expression of 
countenance, and strange, incongruous 
ideas shot through her brain ; ideas which, 
even to herself, were indefinable. She 
became at length gloomy and abstracted, 
from mere incapacity to develope her 
own sensations; but to be gloomy, and 
abstracted, had of late ceased in her to ' 
become remarkable ; and, while the ex- 
cellent Berenza ,in secret deplored this 
change in his beloved Victoria, he forbore 
the slightest reproach, endeavouring only, 
by the kindest and most delicate atten- 
tions, to disperse her frequent melancholy: 
the innocent Lilla too, with gentle sweet- 
ness, would sometimes approach, and seek, 
by endearment or lively converse! to re- 
move what was so evident to all. 

But the efforts of the lovely girl ap^ 

peared rather to injure than to benefit 

Victoria; they roused her from her de- 

1 • jection 



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118 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOH. 

jection indeed, but excited strong irrita- 
bility, and feelings of the bitterest nature. 
Solitude in general seemed to delight her 
most j and, as she had denied to Berenza 
that she possessed any definable cause of 
melancholy, in that he permitted her to 
indulge ; hoping, unsuspicious of the evil 
in her heart, that her mind, by its own 
efforts, would recover its tone. 

As for Henriquez, though he treated 
her with friendship and respect, as the 
wife of his brother, he did no more: first; 
because lie was absorbed in Lilla; and, 
secondly, because being so completely, 
both in mind and person, the reverse of 
that pure and delicate being, he not only 
failed to view them as two creatures of 
the same class, but almost thought of 
Victoria with a tincture of dislike, from 
the very circumstance of her being so 
opposite to his lovely mistress. 

CHAP. 



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ZGiFLOYAi OR, THE MOQfc, 11$ 



CHAP- XVIII. 

jThe Moor, Zofloya, was beloved by all, 
^ave one, in the palla^zo of Berenza; this 
single exception of the general sentiment 
was discernible in a man called Latoni, 
a domestic who had resided for some 
years in the service of the Conte: envy 
and hatred filled his heart in contem- 
plating the superior qualities of Zofloya, 
whose ejegaat person was his least re* 
commendation. He could dance with 
inimitable grace* and his skill in music 
was such* that in excursions on the La- 
guna he frequently, at the request of his 
master, occupied one end of the gon^ 
dola, to charm the company with the 
•exq^sken^ss of his harmony, Tbsse 
care distinctions, and the estimation in 

which 



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120 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR, 

which the Mooh was held by His superiors, 
so preyed upon the mind of Latoni, that 
he abhorred to look upon him, and sought 
every occasion to irritate him, that, in 
some quarrel or fight, he might do him . 
a mortal injury. The Moor, however, 
disdaining Latoni, treated him with. sove- 
reign Contempt, and no bitterness of 
language could extort from him other 
reply than a smile of most expressive 
scorn. This behaviour would enrage 
Latoni to a pitch of madness, but not 
daring to wreak his vengeance upon- so. 
universal a favorite, he had no alternative 
but to rush from the spot, and vent in 
fcurses the malignant fury of his breast. 

It happened that, sortie few days after 
the singular dreams of Victoria, while 
their impression and their tendency still 
occupied her mind, that the Moor,Zofloya* 
became suddenly missing 1 As he was 

so 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 121 

so highly prized by Henriquez, ancj ad* 
paired by all, this circumstance caused 
infinite consternation throughout the pal- 
lazzo; and none indeed did it affect 
more strongly (most inconceivably to 
herself) than Victoria. Every place that he 
had ever been in the habit of frequenting, 
where even there was the remotest proba- 
bility of his having be^n, was scrupu- 
lously sought, and referred to; people 
-were sent different w r ays, throughout 
Venice, to gain, if possible, some intelli- 
, gence respecting him ; but all in vain. — 
Several days elapsed, and not the smallest 
tidings could be obtained. 

Conjecture at length became weary, 
and hope began to fail j all further at- 
tempts to learn the fate of Zofloya were 
considered to be vain, and time alone 
was expected to develope the mysterious 
circumstances of his sudden disappear- 

vox. ii. o ance. 



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122 ZOFLOYA* OR, THfi MOOR. 

ance. In the midst of this, the domestic 
Latoni was seized with, sickness, and 
confined to his bed. Berenza, who re- 
garded him as an old and faithful servant, 
used every endeavour to pronpote his re- 
covery ; but his disorder rapidly gaining 
ground, the physicians confessed the ina- 
bility of medicine to save him from ap- 
proaching death. ^This final opinion 
being conveyed to Latoni, he was seized 
with the most terrible pangs, from which 
he only recovered to entreat the presence 
of a confessor, his master, and Signor 
Henriquez, ere he resigned his breath. 

This request of a dying man, the be- 
nevolent Berenza readily complied with ; 
Henriquez likewise consented to accom- 
pany him, and Victoria, she knew not 
why, begged permission to be present. 
All together, then, entered the chamber 
of -the expiring Latoni, who, soon as he 
• beheld 



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I 
ZOFLOYAj OR, TfiE^lOOR. 125 , 

beheld them, raising himself in his bed, 
spoke as follows : 

" My Lord Berenza, and you Signor 

Henriquez, execrate not a dying penitent, 

but listen with mercy and forgiveness to 

his confession. It is I, Latoni, who 

know all concerning the disappearance of 

the Moor Zofloya. / envied his beauty, 

.his accomplishments, and hated him for 

the admiration which they obtained him. 

I sought many opportunities of provoking 

him to quarrel with me, but he treated 

me with contempt, and this increasing my 

rage against him, determined me to take 

'his -life-!" 

cc Wretch I" exclaimed Victoria. 

IC . Signora, peacfe, I beseech you, 

for I must be brief j and the pangs I 

c 2 noto 



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<24 ZOFLOYA J OR, THE MOOR. 

now endure, may almost expiate my 
crime 

<c One evening, the evening he was 

missing 1 followed him from the pal- 

Jazzo i I watched his footsteps, but kept at 
a distance. I observed him on St. Mark's ; 
my heart panted with uncontrollable fury, 
and desire of vengeance, for the bitter 

moments he had given me. 1 saw him 

raise his eyes to heaven, and contemplate 
the spangled sky— he stood almost close 
to the brink, over the canal, and I long- 
ed to push him in headlong ; but the idea 
that this might not effect completely his de^ 
struction, and that he might save himself 
by expert swimming, stayed my eager 
hand, and softly I approached bim from 
behind. He heard me not. — I took, 

trembling with fear oi failure, my dagger 
from my belt, and plunged it repeatedly 

into 



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EOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 125 

into his back, ere he could even attempt 
to defend himself ; I then, satisfied that 
he must perish, tumbled him into 
the water, from which he never rose, 
and hastily fled the spbt !— — An aveng- 
ing conscience pursued me however, and 
prevented me from enjoying the fruits of 
my crime; death approaches, and the 
torments of Hell are open tq my 
view.'-' 

As Latoni concluded, strong convul- 
sions seised him, and he fell back upon 
his pillow. His confession had eased 
his conscience, but could not prolong 
his life. He lingered a few hours, 
then praying for mercy, though almost 
despairing to obtain it, he breathed his 
hst. 

Great was the grief of Victoria on 

hearing, thus circumstantially detailed, the 

g 3 loss 



yGobgle 



126 ZOFLOYAJ OX, THE MOOR. 

loss and destruction of one who had 
began so deeply to interest her thoughts. 
She found it impossible to account for the 
degree of feeling which affected her ; shp ' 
had never been conscious of the slightest 
predelictibn in favor of the Moor, and, 
till the circumstance of his impressing 
her mind from appearing in her dreams, 
had never even cast a, thought more than 
common upon him. From that period, 
indeed, she had been most inexplicably 
interested about him, nor Could she for 
any length of time banish his idea from 
her mind. 

It was vain, therefore, that she essayed 
to feel indifferent to the reflection of his 
unhappy fate; she found it . impossible, 
and experienced a weight at her heart, 
as if under the impression of having sus- 
tained a heavy loss. 

, s Zofloya, 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 127 

Zofloya, though a Moor, and by a com- 
bination of events, and the chance of 
war, (in the final victory of the Spaniards 
over the Moors of Granada,) reduced to a 
menial situation, was yet of noble birth, 
of the race of the Abdoulrahmans. He 
had, after severe vicissitudes, when stiil 
young, fallen into the hands of a Spanish 
nobleman, who, pitying his misfortunes, 
considered him rather as a friend tfian au 
inferior, and bestowed high, polish upon 
the education he had received. Henri- 
.quez haying become acquainted with tins 
nobleman during his travels, to divert the 
sorrows of his love, he formed with him 
a strict friendship, founded, in some 
degree, upon similiarity of situation as 
well as sentiment. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, in the height of their friendship, 
the Spaniard became involved in a* 
quarrel, which terminated in bloodshed. 
He received a wound, which was pro- 
o 4 nounced 



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128 ZOFLOYA j OR, THE MOOR. 

nounced to be mortal, and Henriquez 
had the melancholy office of attending a 
friend in his dying moments: at this awful 
period it was, that he, among other 
changes, recommended to his future pro- 
tection the Moor Zofloya. Henriquez 
promised implicit observance to all his 
wishes, and -Zofloya was in consequence 
taken immediately, after the death of his 
first master and protector, jnto the service 
and guardianship of Henrique;*, 

These peculiar circumstances, besides 
his excellent and ingenuous mature, con- 
siderably endeared the Moor to him, 
and he loved him not only for the sake 
of his departed friend, but for his intrin- 
sic worth as well* His loss, therefore, by 
Henriquez, was most sensibly and deeply 
regretted, and the confirmation of his 
frightful death received with sejatiments. 
of acute grief, 

* Nine 



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Z0F10YA; OR, THE MOOR. 129 

Nine days had now elapsed since the 
death of Latoni ; nothing had as yet been 
heard to contradict his dying account of 
the end of Zofloya, when, to the surprise 
of every one, on the evening of the tenth, 
he entered the apartment where the fa- 
mily of Berenza were assembled! All 
started frorti their seats, and Victoria, 
overcome with mixed emotions, sunk into 
hers again; an explanation of his asto-~ 
nishing and unlocked for return was has- 
tily demanded by his master, when, grace- 
fully bowing, the Moor gave of himself 
the following account-: ' 

> 

" Of the cause of Latoni's hatred to* 
wards me I am wholly unconscious; he 
frequently sought my life, and on the 
night that he followed me with murderous 
intent, and wounded me repeatedly with 
his stiletto* I discerned whose hand, aimed 
g 5 the 



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130 Z0FL0YA ; OR, THE MOOR* 

the blows, but was not empowered to 
make effectual resistance, being, as it 
happened, wholly unarmed. I struggled 
with the basje assassin, however; but not 
aware of his intentions, he pushed me, 
faint as I was with loss of blood, over the 
edge of the steps on which I was stand- 
ing when he first attacked me, into the 
canal below. Here, undoubtedly, I must ; 
have perished, but that an honest fisher- 
man, Returning to Padua, was the means' 
of my preservation, by extricating me 
from the water, assisted by the feeble 
struggles for life that I was yet enabled 
to mike. Fortunately, none of my wounds 
proved to be seripus ; and being in pos- 
session of a secret transmitted to me by 
my ancestors, for speedily healing even 
the most dangerous ones, I remained at 
the hut of the fisherman till I was per- 
fectly recovered, and enabled once more 

to 



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ZOFXOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 131 

to present myself before the honorable 
famHy to whom I owe my highest grati- 
tude and respect." 

* " 

Here ended the narration of Zofloya, 
.who, when he had received the congra- 
tulations of every one upon his miracu- 
lous escape from destruction, appeared to 
learn with evident surprise the death of 
Latoni. He demonstrated, however, vi- 
sible joy at the intelligence, and returning 
thanks, submissive yet dignified, for the 
kindness manifested towards him, respect- 
fully .withdrew from, the apartment, cast- 
ing, as he went, a look of the most ani 
mated gratitude upon Victoria, as though 
his heart thanked her for the interest she 
had appeared to take in his story, beyond 
vyhat his respect would permit him to ex- 
. press. 

As' for Victoria, in proportion as she 
g 6 had 



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132 2OFL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

had been miserable at the disappearance 
of the Moor, in so much was she rejoiced 
to behold him again. Her heart dilated 
with an unaccountable delight, with 
which the image of Henriquez was deep- 
ly connected 5 for .she thought of him 
with less of jealous agony, and more of 
confidence and hope, as though, strange 
as it appeared, the mere presence of Zo- 
floya possessed a secret charm to facilitate 
her wishes. This idea gave an animation 
to her countenance, and a flow to her 
_ spirits, that for some Utnt had not been per- 
ceptible in her. The change delighted the 
unsuspicious Berenza, who flattered him- 
self that it was the dawning triumph of 
vigorous reason, ov«r the morbid refine- 
ments of a sickly fancy. The innocent 
Lilh, too, caressed her with heartfelt plea- 
sure, and Victoria returned her caresses 
with a gloomy eagerness, as the murderer 
might be tempted to fondle the beauty of 

the 



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ZOFL^YA; OR, THE MOOR. 133 

the babe, whose life he intended to take. 
Henriquez, always participating in the 
pleasures arid sorrows of his mistress, paid 
too a more than usual attention to Vic- 
toria; but it was an attention in complin 
ment to Lilla, to a brother whom he 
loved, and not the spontaneous effusions 
of his heart to her. 

On this night Victoria retired to bed 
with feelings of delight, that -teemed with 
woe to others. Hers was not that inno- 
cent vivacity which springs at once from 
the purity and sanity of the heart $ it was 
the wild and frightful mirth of a tyrant, 
who condemns his subjects to the torture, 
that he may laugh at their agonies ; it was 
the brilliint glare of the terrible volcano* 
pregnant even in its beauty with destruc- 
tion! 

Scarcely had her head reclined upon 

her 



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134 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THfe MOOR. 

her pillow, ere the image of Zofloya 
swam in her sights she slumbered, and 
he haunted her dreams; sometimes shS 
wandered with htm over beds of flowers, ■ 
sometimes overcraggy rocks, sometirttes 
in fields of the brightest verdure, , some- 
times over burning sands, tottering on the 
ridge of some huge precipice,, while the 
angry waters waved in the abyss bel6w. v 
Often the circumstances were so strong, 
that the bounds of fancy contained them 
no longer, and, hastily awaking, scarcely 
could she assure herself that Zofloya 
stood not at the side of her bed ! At one 
time the delusion was\s6 strong, that she 
even fancied, aftef gazing for a minute, at 
least, that he was a few paces from ^ her 
bed, and that she saw him turn, and walk 
slow and majestically towards the door. 
At this, being no longer able to resist, she 
started up, and called him by his name * 
but as she did so, he seemed to vanish 

through 



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zofloya; or, mi MOOk. 135 

through the door, which still remained 
shut. Surprised, she passed her hand 
over her eyes, and looked round the cham- 
ber; all was lonely, she beheld no further 
traces of his figure, and, difficult as wa6 
the persuasion, she endeavoured to be- 
lieve the whole a delusive dream. 

At length, she laid down, and closed 
her eyes again ; the weariness of sleep 
oppressed her to such a degree as to de- 
prive her wholly of motibii, but, notwith- 
standing this, her eyes half opened in- 
voluntarily. A grey silvery mist filled the 
chamber, shedding a sort of twilight; the 
curtains at the foot of her bed opened 
wideband in the same spot again stood 
the figure of Zofloya ! With one hand he 
seemed to hold Berenza, whose counte- 
\ nance, of pallid huei seemed convulsed 
in the agonies of deatth. Or\ his bare 
. bosom appeared large marks of livid blue, 

and 



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136 zoflctca; or, the moor.- 

and bis eyes stretched wide, gazed ihourn- 
fully upoh the oppressed Victoria. . In 
his other hand, the Moor held, by her 
beautiful ahd flaxen tresses, the orphan 
Lilian her thin and spectral form seemed 
arrayed in transparent shade, her lovely 
head drooped, and. on one side of it was 
seen a deep wound, from which the blood 
had streamed adown her atrial robes. 
White still incapable of volition, Victoria 
gaized, Berenza and Lilla vanished back, 
and she beheld instead, her own likeness 
and that of Henriquez stand on either 
side of the Moor. She seemed to stretch 
forth her arms, into which Henriquez ap- 
peared impelled, but hastily retreating, 
she saw that his bosom was disfigured by 
a dreadful wound. Suddenly, Berenza 
afid Lilla again drew nigh j resplendent 
.wings, which dazzled her eyes, came 
from the shoulders of Lilla j with a sera* 
phic smile she extended her hands to Be- 
renza 



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fcOtLOYA; OR, THE MOOR., 137 

renza and Henriquez, and rising with 
them from the ground, Victoria beheld 
them no longer ; her heart beat violently, 
her brain throbbed,, and, essaying to rise, 
she found herself no longer incapable of 
motion. 



CHAP. 



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138 20FLOYA; OR, THE. MOOR. 



CHAP. XIX. 

Victoria having 'passed a night of rest- 
lessness and agitation, fell into a slumber 
towards morning, from which she did not 
awaken till late in the afternoon. When 
* she entered the saloon to join the family 
at dinner, her eyes irresistibly fixed upon 
the figure of Zofloya, who flew with ala- 
crity to procure her a seatj during dinner 
she was silent and abstracted, and her 
regard continued involuntarily to turn 
towards him. In one of those hasty 
glances which pride would alone permit 
her to steal, it occurred to her that the 
figure of the Moor possessed a grace and 
majesty which she had never before te- 
marked ; his face too seemed animated 
with charms till now unnoticed, and his 

verv 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOGR. , 139 

very dress to have acquired a more splen- 
did, tasteful, and elegant appearance. — 
True it was, that great was the beauty of 
Zofloya; to a form the most attractive 
and symmetrical, though of superior 
height, deriving every advantage too 
from the graceful costume of his dress, 
was added a. countenance, spite of its 
colour, endowed with the finest possible 
expression. His eyes, brilliant and large, 
sparkled with inexpressible fire $ his nose 
and mouth were elegantly formed, and. 
when he smiled, the assemblage of his 
features displayed a beauty that delighted 
and surprised. But still, to the present 
period, all this had been unnoticed by 
Victoria : the oftener she looked towards 
him, the more her astonishment increased 
that it should have been so, and she could 
not help thinking that Zofloya, before his 
sudden disappearance, and Zofloya, since 

his 



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140 20FL6YA; OR, THE MOOfc. 

his return, were widely different of each 
other. 

Whenever she cast her eyes upon the 
s Moor, she could perceive that he observed 
her; and not -observed her only, but re* 
garded her with' a tender, serious interest, 
that filled her "soul with a troubled sort of 
delight. At times she even thought he 
looked at her with a peculiar earnestness 
and animation, yet her pride felt no alarm; 
but, on the contrary, she took pleasure in 
knowing that he gazed upon her. Hrs 
place was near the chair of Henriquez, 
yet was he assiduous in attending to her: 
in every motion he displayed some new 
grace, and in the eyes of the vain Victoria 
his beauty increased every moment. 

For this once, though Henriquez was 
in her mind and in her soul, another oc- 
cupied 



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ZOFLpYA; Ofe, THE M-OOBi. . 141 

cupied her attention, and in spite of every 
attempt to divert it to other objects, on 
that one (as if by the irresistible force 
of magnetic attraction) it perpetually 
turned. To relieve herself from an inde* 
finable oppression, she soon rose from 
table," and wandered into the garden : 
there, throwing herself on a seat, she 
began to brood over her criminal passion, 
and tb^ wildest thoughts rioted for pre- 
eminence in her brain. 

" Detestably Beren-za !" she suddenly 
exclaimed, inspired by the basest hatred 
and ingratitude towards him. c< Detestable 
Berenza, selfish and unworthy wretch, that 
played upon my youth, and deluded me 
into the misfortune of becoming thy wife! 
had it not been for thee, and thy curse4 
arts, Renriquez ere now would have been 
mine. The baby, Lilla^ I would have 
banished from his heart; I would have 

rooted 



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142 ZOFLdYAj OR, THE MOOR* 

rooted her thence, or from the earth I 
but, that my energies are all enslaved, 
my ppwers fettered, by the hated name 
of wife, Henriquez should bave yielded 
to my love \ he should not have yielded 
only, but have gloried in it. Who is the 
minion, Lilla ? A friendless upstart ! she 
was no obstacle ; I think not of her : de- 
testable Berenza! I say again— mean, cal- 
culating philosopher, it is thou thou 

that I should wish annihilated !" As she 
concluded, a faint echo seemed to repeat 
her last words, in a low, hollow tone, as 
if sounding at a distance, and borne by 
the wind. 

" What was that ?" said Victoria, men- 
tally; but the sounds returned not-; 

"Ah, it was some mockery," she pursued, 
while a deep sigh burst from her guilty 
bosom ! She drew her hand mechanically 
across her eyes for a- moment, and as she 

removed 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 143 

removed it, she beheld Zofloya standing, 
though -at a respectful distance, before 
her. Surprise, accompanied by an emo- 
tion of anger, lightened through her mind, 
that an inferior should thus presume to in- 
trude upon her retirement: this latter sen- 
timent, however, faded in an instant before 
the majestic presence of the Moor ; she , 
looked upon him with an anxious air, but 
did not speak, and observed that in his 
hand he carried a bouquet of roses. 

" Beautiful Signora!" he said in a gentle 
voice; and. gracefully inclining his body, 
" pardon me that thus I venture to appear 
uncalled before, you; but these roses I 
gathered for you; suffer me to strew them 
at your feet." So saying, he attempted to 
scatter them before her. 

' " Zofloya!" cried Victoria, while her 
eyes wandered with admiration over the 

beauty 



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144 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 

beauty of his form, " no — you shall not 
strew them at my (ett j give them to me, 
and let me place them in ray bosom." 

" There are too many for your bosom, 
sweet Signora! but 1 will select you some, 
and of the rest I will form you a carpet." 
He took the choicest rose from the bou- 
quet, and strewed the remainder at the 
feet of Victoria: then, extending his hand, 
he presented. to her the rose which he had 
selected. 

Victoria stretched forth her hand to 
receive it; when, as she did so, a thorn 
ran deep into one of her fingers, and the 
blood issued in a' large drop. Zofioya, in- 
apparent consternation, opened his vest, 
and, tearing some linen from his bosom,, 
cast himself upon his knees,, and applied 
it with trembling eagerness to the wound. 
Victoria felt too surprised — almost grati- 
fied 



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ZQFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 145 

fied to fepulse him> and the Moor conti- 
nued, unchecked, to press the blood frorri - 
her finger, and to absorb it with the linen, 
as it flowed. At length it ceased to do so: . 
\Zofloya pressed the crimsoned linen to his 
heart, and tearing from it every particle 
that remained unstained, he folded it up 
as a sacred relic, and placed it in his 
bosom. - Then seeming suddenly to recoil 
lect himself, he appeared struck with con- 
fusion at his own audacity : he dared not 
raise his eyes to Victoria;' and a 4ark-red 
blush animated with lurid colour his ex-? 
pf essive countenance. 

Victoria, feeling irresistibly impelled, 
laid her hand upon his shoulder, and in 
gentle voice said, " Rise, Zofloya, and 
be not ashamed, fpr you have not done 
aught amiss." 

" Say youw, Sigriora? I rise then with 
tol. ii. h con- 



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14S ZOFLOYAi OR, THE MOOR, 

/ . • 

qonfidea9ey and, rising as be £f*o&e,»fet» 
, humbly retreated a few paces fifQm ; her, , 

" But, why, Zofloya/* inquired Vic- 
toria, with a smile, "have you deemed 
that piece of linen worthy preservation?" 

" Worthy, lovely Signoral" answered 
the Moor, raising his fine eyes to. her 
^countenance, and crossing his arms upon 
his bosom ; * c it is of more wortlj to me 
than languagfe «can describe ; it is of equal 
-value to me with yourself, for it is a part 
of you— your precious blood! chary wiH 
I be of itj and, safely placed upon my 
bosons no earthly power shall tempt me ~ 
f q resign it." As he concluded, his coun- 
tenance glowed with a brilliant fire, and 
increased animation spread itself over hU 
graceful form. 

The vanity ; of Victoria was ilattered:: 

ia 



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-ZDFXtOYA; Otf, THE MOO It. 14? 

in no guise did she disdain flattery $ but 
was astonished at herself, however, that 
with such disparity of situation, it should 
be sweet to her. She desired to banish 
all hostile reflection ; and, gazing upon 
the attractive Moor, she saw such uncon- 
querable fascination, that her eyes sought 
the ground, as fearful to express the con- 
scious emotion of her bosom. 

"Wherefore, Zo&oyd/ 9 she involuntarily 
said in a tremulous voice* " do you re- 
main at such a distance.?" 

'•" May I then approach, Signorai" 

•"You may?' 

The Moor drew irigh ; but, as Victoria 
- still remained in a recumbent attitude, 
he seated himself upon the earth, at her 
.' fest. 

h 2 An 



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148 ZOPiOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

An oppressive gloom now took posses- 
sion of tKe mind of Victoria ; a weight of 
misery seemed pressing on her heart, and, 
covering her face with her hands, she 
heaved a deep sigh. % ■ 

", You sigh, sweet Signora j" said the 
Mbor, in a sympathising acpent; " may 
Zofloya venture to demand the cause?" 

f SThe cause, Zofloya Ah! it is a, 

cause which you cannot remove > it is a 
wound for which there is no balm." 

" Not so, perhaps, Signora." 

There was little in the words of Zofloya 
to excite hope in the bosom of Victoria ; 
yet enlivening hope shot through her 
bosom, and she half rose from her re- 
clining attitude. 

"Zofloya," 



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fcOFLOYAj OR, THI MOOR. 149 

" Zofloya," she said, in a' doubting ac- 
cent/ finding that he did not proceed, 
" what hope could you ofFer me?" 

" Some, perhaps, Signora— name your 
grief." ' ^ 

I ^ ' "* • 

/ 

She started wildly from hec seat ■ ' ■ 
ic Moor I" she exclaimed, " your words 
are big with meaning; they contain more 
than meets the earl Quick, and tell me, 
boldly, $11 you would say." 

Zofioyn rose from the ground : he pre- 
sumed to take the hand of Victoria, and 
led her again tp her seat ; in a moment 
she was calm.-—" Now, Signora, deign to 
acknowledge to me what secret^ oppresses, 
and has for long oppressed your souiy the 
Moor, Zofloya, may repay you for your 
confidence." 

'hS The 



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150 ZOFfcOVA; OR, THE MOOR. 

The secret of Victoria hovered on her 
lips; hitherto it had remained unknown 
to mortal sojul ; in the gloomy solitude of 
her own perturbed bosom, had she till 
now preserved it, where, like a poisonous 
worm, it had continued to corrode. She 
was now on the point of betraying her 
inmost thoughts, her dearest wishes, her 
dark repinings, and hopeless desires j of 
betraying them, too, to an inferior and an 
infidel t The idea was scarcely endurable* 
and she scorned it $ but, in the next in- 
stant, she cast her eyes upon the noble 
presence of. the Moor: he appeared not 
only the superior of his race, but of a 
superior order of beings. Her struggles 
died away, and, in hurried accents, she 
involuntarily exclaimed— — ** Oh, Hen- 
riquez! Henriquez!" 

Tbs Moor smiled——- 

"Why 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 151 

u Why dost thou smile, Zofloya ?" 
tried Victoria, with momentary indigna- 
tion. - 

* You tore Henriquez, Signora." 

" Yes, yes— to madness I — —to di** 

traction!^ how canst thou smile, un- 

feriing Moor?" 

a Are yon not a holy catholic, Sig- 
nora ?— yet to love so; much an earthly 

<e Mock me not at this moment, Zo- 
floya i for $at being I would, forfeit my 
fcopes of heaven ! You smite again * I 
perceive I have condescended too far * 
you dare to make sport of my miseries?" 

" No, no, beautiful Signora ; I smile , 
oaly at your innocence/' 

h 4 "Afy 



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152 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

€€ My inilocence •.!" she repeated with 
surprise; for conscience whispered that 
long since had fled. 

4< Yes, Signora, at your innocence* that, 
in the midst of wishes so consuming, could 
not instruct you to obtain them." 

, fC Oh say -Can you instruct me? 

can you arrange ? can you. direct the 
confused suggestions of my brain ?" 

" I think I could assist you, fair Sig- 
nora!" 

" Oh, Zofloya, you ,would bind me for 
ever to yQU !" eagerly exclaimed Victoria. 

( [ Enough, lovely Signora ! To-morrow, 
at the dusk of the evening, deign to meet 
me again here. I see approaching to- 
wards us, II Conte Berenza and Signer 
Henriquez." - 

«Abl 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 153 

" Ah ! I see them too— the hated Be- 
renza," she said \ while stronger loathing 
against him \ ook possession of her heart 

u Farewel, Signora, till to-morrow," 
said Zofloya; and precipitately leaving 
the arbour, he took a contrary path to 
that in which Berenza and Henriquez 
were advancing. 

Victoria continued, with indescribable 
sensations, to gaze after his graceful figure, 
as it disappeared from her view; then re- 
luctantly leading the arbour, she joined 
the Copte and Henriquez. With tremu- 
lous delight, and with feelings of dimi* 
nished pain, she stole frequent glances at 
the unconscious possessor of her soul: he 
observed her not ; for the blooming Lilla 
was hastening towards them. In an in- v 
stant he quitted the side of Victoria, and 
flew towards her ; at this sight hate kin- 
h 5 * died 



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15+ ZQFLOYArOJC, THE KfOORT. 

dkd fiercer than ever in the bosom of 

Victoria - y she regarded the lovely orphan* 

with the eyes of a basilisk; and wished 

that, like them, they possessed the power 

ta destroy. Vain this, evening were the 

mild endearments of Lilb: she repulsed 

them with haughtiness y for the feelings* 

in her bosom raged too strong to permit 

the assumption of kindness, and she ex- , 

perienced, that, however her conversation 

with Zoftoya might have, imparted hope, 

and have soothed in a degree the anguish 

of her mind, still it had increased, to the 

highest point of irritability* every violent 

and Bitter sensation.* 



CHAP. 



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%0F tCrtM y 0K r TH* BOO*. fS$ 



CHAP. XX. 

Scarcely, on the following evening, 
had the artificial shades of twilight in- 
creased the gigantic outlines .of the far- 
seen mountains; ere Victoria hastened to 
the spot where the Moor, Zofloya, had 
said! he would await her. On he* ar* 
idval, she found him already there, and 
on perceiving her, he hastened forward, 

** Be seated, fair Signora," he said* 
respectfully leading her to a sloping bank, 
©wahadowadi by a spreading acacia. 

i Victoria obeyed - t the manner of Zo^ 
fioya was such as inspired* involuntary 
awe^ he took his station beside her. 

- , h6 The 



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1,56 ZOFLOYA* *>R, THE MOOR. 

The soul of Victoria was a stranger to 
fear, yet uncommon sensations filled her 
bosom, as she observed her proximity to 
the Moor. The dim twilight increasing 
to darkness* which now began to spread 
its sombre shadows around, threw a 
deeper tint over his figure, and his coun- 
tenance was more strongly contrasted by 
the snow white turban which encircled his 
brows, and by the large bracelets of 
pearl upon his arms arid legs. Yet his 
form and attitude, as he sat beside her, 
was majestic, and solemnly beautiful— 
not the beauty which Tnay be freely ad- 
mired, but acknowledged with sensations 
awful and indescribable. 

" Signora," he began, in an harmo- 
nious voice, while every uneasy feeling 
of Victoria's bosom vanished as he 
spoke—" I am not to learn that dreadful 
oppression of soul weighs you to the 

earthy 



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ZOFLOYA; OH, THE MOOR. 157 

earth.; but the cause of your unhappiness 
I desire to hear from your own lips, more 
explicitly than you h^ve yet acknow- 
ledged it. Think not, beautiful Vic- 
toria, that, in the spirit of idle curiosity 
merely, I would dive into the recesses of 
your bosom ; no, it is from a hope I en- 
tertain, that I possess a power equal, 
almost to my wishes, of alleviating the 
sorrows you endure. But even should 
I not possess that power* evert then 
there is a delight, of which you will 
speedily, become sensible, in confiding 
them to a sympathising breast." , 

Victoria hesitated— the Moor pro- 
ceeded: 

u Does the Signora believe, then, that 
the Moor Zofloya hath a heart dark as 
fcis countenance ? Ah! Signora, judge 



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15* ZOELOYA; OR^ TH£ MOOK. 

ye not by appearances! but^if you desire 
relief, make me at onee the depositary of 
your soul's conflicts, and trust to the 
event." 

Scarce had Zofloya opened his lips*,, 
ere uneasiness, as we have said, vanished 
from the mind of Victoria. As he pro* 
ceeded, the most agreeable sensations 
fluttered through her frame, and* in her 
brain floated fascinating visions of future 
bliss, that passed too rapidly to- be iden* 
lifted. Scarce had his silver tones -strafe 
on her ear in thrilling cadence, than she 
felt even eag^r to express to the Moor 
her inmost thoughts: excessive, yet con* 
fused pleasure, filled her heart— ^she 
looked upon his still discernible, though 
darkened figure; upon his countenance* 
where, like two diamonds, revealed bj» 
the force of their own casual rays, his 
7 " • eyes* 



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ZOPLOTA; OK, THE MOO*. \S9t 

eyes emitted sparks of lambent flame.—* 
Involuntarily softened towards, him, she 
said— 

" Whether or not thou canst assist mer r 
Zofloya, i* unknown to, me ; but, feeling, 
strongly impelled to reveal to thee every 
movement of my soul — the fatal,. I almost 
fear, the remediless cause of my misery,, 
I hasten to acknowledge to thee all. I 
have already hinted to thefe concerning 
my love y although the .wife of Conte* 
Berenza, my inmost soul doats franticly 
upon the young Henrkpiez* to complete 
my hopeless distraction, the orphan Lilla y 
that presumptuous and dependant intru^ 
der, hath for long been in possession of 
his heart, an heart of which she knows 
npt the value,, for her person is not more 
puerile than her mind. But, it is* not the 
artful insignificant ascendancy this girl haa 
acquired over him that bids me despair * 

it 



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160 ZOFLOYA; QR, TUB MOOR. 

it is — it is that I am wedded to a wretch 
whom I abhor!*— who stands between me 
and happiness, and who was only sent 
upon this earth to seal the fiat of my 
miseries. Were I but once freed— freed/ 
from those hated fetters that bind me 
to Berenza, I would soon drive from the 
superior mind of Henriquez the silly pas- 
sion which how occupies it ; I would 
make him feel that he was destined to 
nobler fate, to confer and to receive the 
s highest happiness; not merely to yield 
himself a sacrifice to the undiscriminating 
fancy of his boyish days. Oh, Zofloya! 
this would I do, were opportunity allowed 
me—but never, oh, never will such bliss 
be mine!" 

She leaned her head upon her hand, 
and paused; then quickly resuming : " I 
have no v^ told thee of the agony which 
racks my breast;, I have even revealed 

my 



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ZOFLOYA; OK, THE MOOR. 161 

my wishes— my despair. — Say, say quickly 
-—what consolation canst thoii offer in 
return f " 

" I would bid you, Signora, not de- 
spair. 

f( And is this all thou canst say, 
Zofloya?" 

" Are you of a firm and persevering 
spirit! Signora?" 

«« This heart knows not to shrink/ 1 
she answered, forcibly striking her bosom, 
whjje her eyes flashed fire $ <c and in its 
purpose would persevere, even to de- 
structioti!" 

" Are such the attributes of your cha- 
racter, Signora ? Then what earthly wishes ; 



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162 20 FLOY A; OR, THE MW8U 

arc not to be atchieved by the united 
force of iirmness and perseverance ?" 

" I see not how. firmnes$ and perse- 
verance can avail me here; however 
valuable in themselves may be those 
qualities." 

u Not so, beautiful Victoria/' 

u Your word* are ambiguous, Zo- 
flpya* deign to be -explicit*'' saidVictori* 
hastily. 

<f Will yoa consider ma so* when I 
assert, that if you. determine to act up to 
what you have jjist said, no, accir 
dental combinations can preivenit y»ii 
from obtaining your utmost wishes ?" 

** Hah fc aay youao, enchanting Moor V* 

exclaimed 



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ZOFiOYAf OR, THE MOOR. ' 16S 

exclaimed Victoria, half frantic with joy 
at the meaning contained in his words; 
and, breatbfess with contending emotions 
of hope and doubt, seizing his hand, she 
pressed it to her bosom* 

u Signora! be calm* be composed," 
cried Zofloya, " and honor not thus, un- 
worthily, the lowest of your slaves." 

" Speak on then, Zofloya s your words 
are magic, they soothe my soul, and I 
feel kepet" 

4i And if I speak on, you wiH not bid 
me cease ; you will not shrink, Signora/' 

Victoria's only answer was an expresr 
five smile and gesture. 



Zofloya then resumed* 



" Before, 



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164 ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

€i Before, Signora, by the unhappy 
defeat of my countrymen, in Granada, 
by Ferdinand of Arragoii, I became the 
property of the Spaniard, who dying, re- 
commended me to Signor Henriquez, I 
had, from early youth, been addicted to 
the study of arts as well as arms* botany, 
chemistry, and astrology, were my favo- • 
rite pursuits $ and this turn of mind was 
further encouraged and improved by an 
ancient Moor of Granada, who took plea- 
sure in cultivating my taste, and eventu- 
ally increased considerably my inform- 
ation on various points, and to a surprising 
extent. While in the kingdom of Ar* 
ragon, resident with the Spaniard,, my 
late master, I continued to have full 
leisure for the pursuit of my favorite 
branches of study, for he treated me as a 
friend and an equal, rather than as a mi* 
, serable captive and domestic*" 

« Ob, 



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7&FL0YA; OR, TKB MOOR. 16a 

« Oh, Zofloya ! Zofloya !" impatiently 
cried Victoria, " this is irrelavent." 

(t Suffer me to proceed, however, 
Signora," gravely observed the Moor, 
with an air that repressed the violence, 
and commanded the attention of his 
auditor. . 

cc In consequence of the liberty I en- 
joyed, I devoted myself, as I have said, 
to my favorite pursuits; I: obtained a 
perfect knowledge of simples and earfhs, 
and how drugs are compounded from 
them. No one could go beyond the 
infallibility of my calculations, as to their 
effect. To chemistry, then, I became 
particularly attached, without, however, 
resigning my astrological pursuits. Close 
application, (favored too, as perseverance 
usually is, by the deductions of acciden- 
tal observation,) taught me in time, 

/ amidst 



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166 ZOF£0Y&; OR, THE MOO*. 

amidst a vast variety of chemical science^ 
to compound poisons with such infinite 
art, that, from the most speedy and sub- 
tile, I could vary their degrees to the 
slowest and most imperceptible. > I tried 
them (experimentally as it were) first 
upon animals, and then upon those who 
had offended me!"^ 

" Victoria started ; but the Moor, ap- 
pearing not to notice it, proceeded : 

" Upon these I tried, alternately, ray 
speedy and lingering poisons. I hav$ 
seen the little greyhound, one moment 
frisking at my feet, and the next, without 
a struggle, sink, motionless, beside them. 
I have seen the man I hated; who had 
forgotten he had ever offended me, smil- 
ing in my face, and lingering udder the 
imperceptible but certain -influence of 
the poison that had been -administered tp. 

him, 



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XftFXOYA; OR* TKA MOOTU 167 

liiflO, and which circulated in his blood, 
gently leading him to the gates of death ! 
for the female who had dared to prefer 
another to me, I have first wreaked my 
vttngeance on her lover, and then on her- 
self. By the power «f the drugs I have 
given them, their love for each other has 
-been alternately changed to hate; and 
they have only recovered from the deli- 
rium, to be separately destroyed by the 
effect! In no instance have I ever failed 
in my calculations of the event. That 
which I wiHed came to p^ss, and came 
to pass in the manner that I willed it !— 
Many other surprising secrets of art and 
nature became revealed to me; but, to 
^expatiate upon thfem now would be, as 
you have said, irrelavent to the subject; 
therefore to the point* — I now demand of 
you, Signora, whether you would choose 
the slow poison, or the swift?" 

Victoria 



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168 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

Victoria was for a moment staggered 
at this unexpected question, which again 
the Moor seeftiirig not to observe, took 
from his pocket a small gold box, which 
opening, Victoria perceived to contain 
several divisions; from one of these he 
drew a little folded paper, and thus pro- 
ceeded : 

u This paper contains one of the most 
subtile and delicate poisons that ever, by 
the hahd of art, could be composed. It 
deals unerring death, but deals it slowly. 
It may be administered in wine, in food-— 
it may even , be completely introduced 
info the system, by the puncture of the ' 
smallest pin ! It is this which I should 
recommend to you, S ignore, for a begin- 
ipg; take it and use it as opportunity 
shall present: should opportunities but 
tmfrequently occur, you will yourself 
know how to make them." 

Victoria 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 169 

Victoria stretched forth her hand, and 
took the paper — for a moment she was 
silent, and then said-*— 

<c This, then, is for Berenza." 

The Moor smiled expressively, and 
waved his hand, as if to say; u that 
surely requires no answer ;" then, as- 
suming a more serious air, he coolly 
observed — 

" When barriers oppose the attainment 
.of a favorite object, the barriers must 
either be laid low, or the object remain 
unattained. To remedy - ; an evil, it fc 
necessary to strike at the root. Nothing 
is to* be gained by lopping the branches 
which arise therefrom. Thus, should 
you resolve to overstep common boun- 
daries, and that which is termed : fcmale 
delicacy, by openly declaring your passion 

VOL. II. I to 



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170 3**LOYAS OR, THE; MOOR. 

to Henriquez, and he (even setting defi- 
ance to consequence) should return, it ; 
how do you imaging that while the wife 
of another, you could enjoy unrestrained 
delight with the choice of your soul ? Do 
you want resolution then, fair Signora, to 
(effect, by means so trifling, jour highest 
wishes ? — and did I err," he added iro* 
nically, u in the different estimate I had 
formed of your character ?" 

: " It is not that I want resolution," re- 
lumed Victoria* somewhat piqued. " I 
desire, oh, how ardent Jy desire, the death 
—the annihilation of Berenza; but, by 
these mean?, to take his life! — it i* not 
that I hesitate, however! 51 and ashamed, 
confuted at what she deemed her co- 
wardice, die stopped— 

" Jt is not that you hesitate," in an 
accent half serious, half disdainful, re- 
turned 



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Z0#LOYA; OR, THE MOO*. 17! 

turned the Moor 5 " and why should you 
hesitate ? he had no hesitation in sacrific- 
ing to himself your young and beautiful 
person, for his gratification ; and why 
should you hesitate, now, at sacrificing 
him for yours? You hate him ; yet you 
receive with dissembled pleasure those 
endearments which he lavishes upon, 
you. In depriving him of life, you 
would do him far less wrong. Surety the 
conscience of Victoria is not subjugated 
to a confessor ? From whence then arises 
this unexpected demur? Is not sejf 
predominant throughout animal nature? 
and what is the bpasted supremacy of 
man, if, eternally, he must yield life 
happiness to the paltry suggestions of scho- 
lastic terms, or the pompous definitions of 
right and wrong? His reasoning mind, 
then, is given him only for his torment, • 
and to wage war against his happiness; yet 
what cause can be adduced, why another 
12 m\ist 



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*72 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

roust be permitted to stand between him, 
and his fair prospects, overshadowing 
them with hopeless gloom ? What argu- 
ment can be adduced against his re- 
moval ? For him, of whom we are 

speaking, he has enjoyed, already, many 
years of existent pleasure $ he must now 
yield his place to another; for he has not 
a right to monopolize to his share the 
pleasures of others. Besides, were he to 
live a thousand years longerj each day 
must be but a tasteless repetition of the 
past i for, in length of time, even the 
zest of pleasure wears off; and when we 
con\e to reflect, after this long disquisition 
into which we have been drawn, what 
is the momentous consideration, whether 
the breath of a man be hastened a few 
moments sooner from his body, than 
sickness, accident, or a thousand chances 
"might have propelled it, and in the com- 
mon course of things have befriended 

you; 



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ZOFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR- 17S 

you;— yet, if none of these happen to 
arise, a mind of enterprise, endowed 
with the strength and power of right 
reason, steps with unshrinking foot a 
little from the beaten track." 

- Zofloya paused — the cool delibcrateness 
of his manner, in expressing his senti- 
ments, induced Victoria to believe that 
they were the result of conviction, de- 
duced from accurate reflection, and the 
having given to the subject the rational 
consideration of a towering and superior 
mind, . rather than the cruel or forced 
constructions of the moment. Under 
this impression, she could not avoid 
saying— 

" Zofloya, you possess strong powers 
of reflection, and you are eloquent." 

u Charming Signora," in a softened 
i 3 voice, 



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174 ZOFLGYAj OR, THE MOOR, 

voice, answered the Moor, " I am not 
naturally eloquent, but the wish of 
promoting your happiness renders me 

Pride filled the heart of Victoria, and 
she smiled. 

41 Ah l" pursued the Moor, 4C that 
beauteous form was never made to pine 
by hopeless love!— no, it was not made 
to sink to the earth a victim to ungratified 
sensations, to yield, to fall a sacrifice 
to imperious circumstances. Ah 1 Vic- 
toria, beautiful Victoria! Zofloya must jfy 
yduin despair, should you disdain his prof- 
fered services.* 9 

Oh, Flattery, like heavenly dew upon 

the earth, - gratefully dost thou descend 

upon the ear of woman ! Indescribable 

leasure 1 (Slated the bosom of Victoria, 

as 



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ZOTLOYA', OB, THE MOOft. 175 

as she listened to the honied accents of 
the delicate Moor. She put forth her 
band towards him, and, when he softly 
seized and pressed it to his lips, the 
haughty Venetian was not offended. 

« f Tell me then, Zofloya," she said, 
with slight hesitation, " how must I use 
this bland and dangerous enemy?" 

At night, in wine, Signora; in morn- 
ing beverage; when, and how you can: 
ere long its effects will become dis- 
cernible." 

" The Conte, at a certain hour of the 
day, drinks lemonade/' observed Vic- 
toria, which I was once in the habit 
of administering to him; he used to 
say it tasted sweeter from my hand." 

" Renew your tender offices," said 
i 4 Zofloya, 



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176 Z0FL0Y1A; OR, THE MOOR. 

'Zofloya, with a meaning smile, € K and 
increas^ your opportunities : the powder 
I have given you is of the minutest 
particles; the smallest atom is sufficient 
at a time. Using it at the rate of twice 
a day, it will not be exhausted for ten 
days; at the end of that period, the 
perceptible effect that shall have been 
produced upon Berenza will direct us 
to proceed. Now, Signora, allow me 
to conduct you hence." So saying, Zo- 
floya gently taking Victoria by the arm, 
led her, with a kind of respectful free- 
dom, from the spot. 



CHAP. 



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ZOFLOYA; QR, THE MOOR. 177 



CHAP. XXI. 

With unshrinking soul, and eye un- 
abashed by the consciousness of guilt* 
Victoria joined at supper the innocent 
family circle. The high blush of ani- 
mation flushed her dark cheek with 
more than usual fire -, her eyes sparkled*^ 
but it was with a fiend-like exulta-* 
tion, and her nerves seemed new 
strung for the execution of her dreadful 
purpose. 

Berenza rejoiced at her appearance, and 
little surmising the cause, approached, in 
the fulness of his heart, to embrace her; 
she returned it impatiently, and pushing 
him from her, surveyed him, with .a kind 
of half smile, from head to foot; 

i5 The 



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178 ZOFLOYA } OH, TUC KfO<ft*. 

The unconscious Berenza mistook this 
for the embrace of eager love, repentant 
at past coldness, and the accompanying 
action for sportive gaiety only. But it 
was not so; Victoria hastily embraced^ 
him, from the cruel reflection that he 
\vould not long have the power of solicit- 
ing these marks of an affection that she 
felt not, nor she the hated task of grant- 
ing them;— in pushing him from her, she 
but yielded to an overpowering impulse 
of the hatred which possessed her bosom ; 
while gazing on him with a smile, she 
consoled herself with the thought — how 
soon be would cease to be ! 

At supper she could not forbear some- 
times casting her ardent eyes upon Hen- 
riquez, anticipating future delight ; while 
his were fixed as usual upon tha bloom- 
ing fairy, Lilla. But her Victoria now 
regarded only with contempt, from the 

suggestion 



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2 of Lot a j off, ftffi tfoo*. 179 

suggestion that she was an atom too easily 
crushed to cause a moment's painful 
thought. Yet she failed not to pay atten- 
tion to all; and the vivacity of her mamf* 
ner, the brilliancy of her wit, attracted, 
as it was wont: to do, the pleased admi- 
ration of all towards her. 

" Come, my life/* cried the enraptured 
Berenza, raising the glass to his lips, 
41 Here's to thy happiness* and the suc- 
cess of thy every wish: drink all of you 
the same," he added* looking round the 
table. 

Every one obeyed, and drank to the 
happiness of her, toho,. in that moment, 
meditated their destruction. 

u And now," she cried, playfully, « it 
fc my turn j and taking two goblets off 
the table, she flew to a recess at the end 

M of 



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' 180 ZOFL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

of the saloon, where wines and ices were 
set out upon a small marble table ; filling 
then* to the brim with Vino Greco, and 
infusing into the glass that had been hers 
a small quantity of the poison, (which 
instantly incorporated itself with the wine, 
and disappeared,) she returned to the sup- 
per table with well-dissembled innocent 
sportiveness, and exclaimed — * 

u Fill your glasses all round/' 

All obeyed again, and held their glasses 
in their hands. 

€€ Here, Berenza, is my glass," she 
cried ; " drink from it as I will drink from 
yours— To the speedy fulfilment of our 
wishes r 

The fatal toast was drunk, and " To 

the speedy fulfilment of our wishes,^ echo- 
ed 



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ZOFJiOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 181 

ed round the table, while the devoted 
Berenza, whose only wish was the grati- 
fication of Victoria, drank eagerly to pro- 
mote it the first draught of death ! and 
looking tenderly upon her, exclaimed, 
" To the speedy fulfilment of thy wishes," 
thus emphatically calling on his own de- 
struction, 

Victoria smiling, fixed her eyes upon him 
— in a few moments she imagined he turned 
pale : he passed his hand hastily across 
his eyes, as if sensible of a slight sudden 
pain in his head ; she became apprehen- 
sive she had given him more than was 
prudent for a first dose, and that she 
would be betrayed : presently, however, 
her fears subsided, the colour returned to 
the cheeks of Berenza, and the pain 
* passed away. Uninterrupted gaiety then 
reigned to the end of supper, and till 

the 



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1*2 tOFLO^A; Oft, Ttfl MM&, 

the lateness of the hour warned them to 
separate* 

From this eventful period, Victoria 
omitted no opportunity of administering 
insidious death to the unsuspicious Be- 
renza. Sometimes,with the point of a small 
fruit knife, which she retained about herfor 
the purpose, she introduced the baleful 
poison within the fruit, white offering it 
to him on the point of her knife j thus 
remorselessly rendering him to himself 
the dealer of his own death. 

After once or twice, the poison na 
longer took an immediately perceptible 
jefifect upon him $ the stomach becoming 
habituated, no longer evinced resistless 
loathing as it received the gradual de+ 
•truction, which, blending its baleful in* 
fluence with its other juices* was convey- 
ed 



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Z0*iO¥A; «H, TUB MOMi 1%B 

ed iotb the s?3tem. At tbe expiration of 
eight or ten days, a change, scarcely mark- 
ed by others, but fuHy perceived by Vic- 
toria* became apparent in the haplesfc 
Berenza ; the blood of his cheeks, which, 
on first taking the poison, vanished back 
for a few moments, seemed, as by repeat- 
ed checks, to have become more languid 
in its circulation, and tinged them no 
longer, as formerly,- with the vermilion 
hue of health. A- kind of tremtriou9ness 
began to possess his nerves, and a dry 
but faint cough gave frequent symptoms 
that the mischief had begun to work. 

Satisfied with these appearances, on 
the evening of the tenth day, for the ea- 
gerness of Victoria (now that she had 
commenced her dreadful plan) had not 
suffered an atom of the poison to remain 
beyond, she sought, as previously agreed, 

Zofloya, 



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16.4 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

Zofloya, in the appointed spot : when she 
arrived, she perceived him not; already 
her dark mind became suspicious of the 
delay j — €t Zofloya ! Zofloya \" she cried, 
in an under voice, " where art thou?" 

" Here," replied a voice, like the sweet 
murmuring sound of .an jEoIian harp, 
swept by the breath of the zephyr; and, 
turning, she beheld at her side the tower- 
ing figure of the Moor. 

She had not seen, neither had she heard 
his approach 5 and, ashamed of the doubts 
she had felt, and the impatience she had 
evinced, she could not, as his command- 
ing eyes looked down upon her, for the 
moment speak. 

cc Well, beautiful Victoria," he said, 
V behold me here 1 and suffer nie now to 

ask, 



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ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 185 

ask, does hope begin to cheer your long- 
benighted bosom ?" 

" Yes," answered Victoria, " 1 enter- 
tain hope, the fond hope, Zofloya, that I 
shall have good cause to mark ihe day, 
when, irresistibly impelled by the kind 
sympathy of thy manner, I confided to 
thee the cause of my sorrows/' 

And I too, Signora, shall have proud 
cause to mark that day; for it gave to the 
unworthy slave, Zofloya, the most beau- 
tiful and enterprising of her sex/' 

<c It gave thee my friendship, indeed, 
Zofloya/' said Victoria, slightly surprised j 
" it gave thee ray gratitude, not myself ; 
for I am irrevocably, as thou knowest, de- 
voted to another/' 

" Be not offended, beautiful Victoria, 
i nor 



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186 aOFLOYA^ OR, TH£ M30DJU 

nor let us waste the precious moments 
in Refining terms ; for the Signor Heuri- 
quez, to whom I am obedient for your 
sweet sake alone, requires my presence: 
were it not for you, Zofloya would no 
longer appear in a character unfitting his 
state, the character of a menial." 

" And what would you then, generous 
Zofloya i for sure you were the attendant 
of Henriquez, ere I became knowil to 
you." 

" Were^w otherwise thanjytu* are, fair 
Victoria, I should not now be here," 

"Is it even soj^hen ami indeed ii£- 
delated to yon, itoost excellent Moor, for 
the sacrifices which you make to my set- 
vice, and never, never can I sufficiently 
repay you." 

"Yo* 



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zoflota; or, the moo*. 1%7 

u You will, you do repay me, kind.Sig- 
uora ; but time wastes : Jet me now give 
what you require, the second powdei*, 
for ■ ■ " He concluded his meaning with 
a smile; then taking the box from his 
pocket, he drew forth a second povvdei^, 
but from a different division, and pre- 
senting it to Victoria, he said — 

"This powderis a degree more power- 
ful than the last; you will administer 
it the same, and the effects will be 
proportionably increased. This, like- 
wise, will last you ten days, and In that 
time you will observe in Berenza the 
flame of life become fainter and fainter. 
To all around his illness will wear the 
appearance of languor and gentle decay, 
no one w r ill suspect death to be at hand ; 
by you, some cold caught, and unnoticed 
at the time, must be fondly alluded to, 
and suggested as the cause ; by tenderness 
" and 



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188 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

and unlimited attention, by soothing 
and ^consolation, you must shut his eyes 
on the danger of his situation, and ad- 
minister with your poison the fallacious 
hope, that his constitution will triumph 
over the cureless malady ; so that no ad- 
vice, and, if possible, not any medicines, 
may be resorted to, lest they should coun- 
teract or retard the workings of his de- 
licate enemy. You will thus behold him 
perishing away, like the rose, which car- 
ries the canker-worm hidden in its' heart, 
or the tree, that, blasted by the light- 
ning, can never more recover its ver- 
dure." 

The -Moor paused; but Victoria ap- 
pearing violentlyagitated, as if overcome 
by some sudden thought or recollection, 
remained silent. 

Her uneasiness was not unobserved by 

Zofloya i 



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ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. lfc9 

Zofloya;- but he only gazed upon her, 
without inquiring the cause, leaving it 
to herself to reveal the workings of her 
mind. 

At length, fixing her eyes upon his 
countenance, she said in a hurried voice — 

" Zofloya, Venice will never do for the 
seat of action ; it would be folly, it would 
be madness to make the attempt. Such 
an undertaking as ours, if crowned by 
success, would prove ultimate destruc- 
tion ; know you not, know you not, Zo- 
floya, that nothing can remain concealed 
from II Consiglio di Dieci •?" 

* f But you commit no crime against the 
state, Signora ; you are no heretic." 

" True, but the pretended accusation 
for these crimes are frequently the vehi- 
cles 



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190 ZOFLOYA; OKi THE MOM. 

cles of punishment for ether offencfes ; 
hatred, suspicion* or malice, conveys an- 
anonymous Hue into the lion's mouth; 
the familiars of the holy inquisition are 
every where, and, though summoned be- 
fore its awful tribunal upon false grounds, 
the torture soon wrests from you a con- 
fession of those offences, of which you 
have been really guilty. No, Zofloya, 
the attainment of my object avails me 
nothing, if destruction follows the mo- 
mentary triumph." 

#< Well, Signora, though I think that 
your fears magnify the danger, yet the al* 
ternative which occurs is easy ; persuade 
the Conte to quit Venice." 

But, whither to .go?" she said, with an 
embarrassed air* "all Italy is equally dan- 
gerous/' 

Zofloya 



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JBO#t4>YAi*; O*, THE M90JU 19i 

. Zofloya made an impatient gesture, 9$ 
if to reprove the hesitation of Victoria ; 

after a moment, she resumed — 

- « I have heard Berenza speak of Torre 
Alto i it is the name of a castle apper- 
taining to him, which is situated among 
the Appennines*" 

cc A retirement there would at least 

$uit your purpose; the prying steps of 

curiosity will not follow you, and dis- 
covery cannot reach you." 

•* But should Berenza object, as / hafte , 
hitherto done, to a temporary removal 
blither?" 

* "Then can you adduce a 'thousand 
•seasons.; a desire for solitude, a "wish to 
visit a spot you have never yet seen, or 
Jasriy, a suggestion that change. of air 

and 



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{92 ZDFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

and situation might speedily restore his 
health." 

" It shall be so, Zofloya ; pity the dis- 
traction of a wretch, whose mind is ren- 
dered imbeGile by misery, and who of 
herself is incapable of an effort towards 
her own happiness $ aided and advised by 
thee, I may command success." 

The Moor smiled — <e Your fate, your 
fortune, fair Signora, will be of your own 
making : I am but the humble tool, the 
slave of your wishes ; your co-operation 
with me can alone render me powerful $ 
but fly me, disdain my assistance, and 
despise my friendship I sink abashed into 
myself \ and am powerless ! Farewel, Sig- 
hora; I have already staid too long; for 
the present you need me no more." Ab- 
ruptly then Zofloya turned away, and 
quitted the presence of Victoria, who 

took 



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T ^:" 



ZOFLOYAS OR, THE MOOR* 193 

took her steps, musingly, towards the 
house. 

At supper, soon as with wine and con- 
versation the spirits of Berenza became 
joyous and elevated, she artfully seized 
an opportunity of introducing the subject 
nearest her heart ; she spoke of Torre 
Alto, and expressed a desire to visit its 
sublime solitudes, professing herself to be 
still further influenced from the flattering 
presumption, (looking tenderly at Eerenza, 
as she madeth6 assertion), that change of 
atmosphere and a more elevated situation 
might be a means of bracing his nerves, 
and restoring him to his pristine health. 

Whatever the tender and unsuspicious 
Berenza believed, it was enough for him 
that Victoria expressed the wish, for him 
unhesitatingly to comply with it -, while 
the welcome, but fallacious hope 'pressed 

vol. ii. k upon 



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1#4 ZOfrLOYA; ©R<, THF MOOR. 

upon his heart, tl&t devoted to love and 
him, and desirous to prove to him that 
she was so, she abandoned, without regret, 
the vain pleasures and amusements of the 
voluptuous city, for a solitude no longer 
utipleasing to her. Gharmed at this re- 
turn to reason and rationality, he fondfjr 
persuaded himself that the evening of his 
days would close like the brilliant beauty 
of a western sky declining into the sha- 
dows of night. Fearful even that her 
purpose might charlge, he expatiated on. 
the beauty, the situation of his castella; 
and, desirous to offer every possible allure- 
ment to her perseverance," he entreated 
that Henriquez, his fair mistress, and her 
ancient protectress, would be of the in- 
tended party. 

To this,. Henriquez, who fondly loved 
his brother, readily acquiesced, and ven- 
tured to promise for Lilla and the Sig-' 

• nora, 



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ZQPtOTA^ OR, TH* MOOR* l&i 

nor?, as wkh a smile he looked toward* 
them, to deprecase the possibility of a 
refusal. 

. Victoria, perceiving in the hapless Be- 
renza such unhoped-for eagerness in co- 
incidence with her plan, artfully forbore 
to press the subject further; but her alarm 
being awakened, le&t the relation of Lilla 
should object to the journey, and thereby 
(at* idea that was not endurable) detaia 
Henriquez in Venice, she exerted the 
fascinations of her kindness towards her, 
and observed with seeming pleasure, as 
if the point of her, acquiescence had been 
settled, what infinite benefit would, in all 
probability, result to her own health, in 
consequence of the salubrious change. 

The poor old Signora did not exactly 

think so, but it was enough that Victoria 

condescended to say it, and to direct to- 

k 2 wards 



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196 zofloya; or, the moor. 

wards her unusual attention, for her not 
to hesitate. Besides, as self-love is no 
less inherent in age than youth, she felt 
no little gratification in being deemed of 
sufficient consequence for solicitation. 

All preliminaries being speedily ar- 
ranged, it was agreed, ere they rose from 
table, that the following day should only 
intervene for the conclusion of some ne- 
cessary preparations, and that on the sub- 
sequent morning they would take their 
departure from the gay city of Venice, 
for the Castella di Torre Alto, among 
the Appennines. 



CHAP. 



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ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 197 



CHAP. XXII. 



On a lovely morning, early in spring, the 
party, descending the steps of St. Mark's, 
embarked on the Brenta for the Apperi- 
nines. Victoria, seated by the side of 
Berenza, administered to him the ten* 
derest, the most deceitful attentions; the 
fair and beautiful Lilla, vvith her long 
flaxen tresses almost veiling her fairy 
form, seated by the side of Henriquez, 
caught the soft breathings of his love, and, 
without looking upon him, felt the warm 
glances of his eyes, which thrilled with 
voluptuous tenderness her innocent soul. 
The aged Signora, proud to be among 
the youthful party, though of little in- 
terest to any, save her orphan charge, sat 
contented in the enjoyment of other?; for 
k 3 venerable 



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198 zOplota; cm, T«* moor. 

venerable age but rarely attracts the por- 
tion of consideration which is due to it. 
Zofloya, towering as a demi-god, with his 
plumed and turbaned head, his dark form 
contrasted, and embellished by his brace- 
lets of pearl* and by the snowy hue of his 
garments, was stationed near the stern of 
the vessel, and ravished the surrounding 
party with his exquisite harmony, to which 
even the undulating waves, in the rapt 
ekr of enthuastic fancy f appeared to keep 
respectful music. 

Never was fatal journey pa-formed 
tmder fairer allspices, ©ever with fonder 
triumph did the bridegroom conduct his 
long toved mistress to the altar, than the 
poor fierenza conducted to his soiatude, 
among imounrtains, the ifoitJtfess Vic- 
toria. He saw no solitude when she was 
by; to him she was the peopled world 
of pleasure, and in the fulness of bis 

exhilarated 



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EdFlOYA 5 OR, THE MOOR. 1#9 

^etfbilarated hearty he btest the moment 
which, by vtsittog h'wn with sickness, re- 
stored him, as be thought, the affections *of 
a wife he had feared was lost to him. 

To be brief — their journey concluded, 
and Arrived at Torre Alto, Victoria ob- 
served herfcelf, with a gtaoray and secret 
delight* enclosed within- the profoundest 
•olttudes, for no town, no hamlet was 
teveri nekr the Castella of Berenza, which 
was situated in a deep valley, on the 
bonders of a forest. On either «kk hrage- 
Tocks toweiied above its loftiest! spires, 
and half lembasotned it in terrible but ma- 
jwAc «ubtimiry, white no WAinddJst orbed 
the totetoft silence o^f the scene but the fall 
of *be impetuous cataract, as it tumbled 
froirt the stupendous acclivky into the 
depths b^ow, or the distant sound of the 
vesper-bell tolling <solefttti from the ne&rett 
convent, with, at times, when the wind 
k 4 blew 



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200 Z0FL0YA* OR, THE MOOR. 

blew towards the castle, the murmuring 
peal of the lofty-sounding organ, caught 
at intervals in the breeze, seeming more 
like the mysterious music of the spirits of 
the air, than sounds from mortal haunts. 

cc Here, then," said Victoria, as on 
the morning after her arrival she gazed 
from her chamber , window upon the 
beautifully terrific scenery, and the immea- 
surable waste; of endless solitude which 
composed it— c< Here, then, without dan- 
ger, may I pursue the path leading to the. 
summit of my wishes j no prying eye can 
pierce through, here, the secret move- 
ments which, to compass my soul's desire, 
may be requisite. Hail then to these 
blissful solitudes, hail to them, since they 
perhaps may first witness the rich harvest 
of my persevering love; and for such 
a love, perish— perish, all that may op- 
pose it!" 

While 



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ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 201 

While thus she continued, her eyes 
indeed wandering wildly over the world of 
mountains, but her thoughts far, far be- 
yond them, she was roused by the mild 
yoice of Berenza, who gently seizing her 
arm, smilingly inquired the subject of 
her reverie. 

A faint blush suffused the guilt-bronzed 
cheek of Victoria, as in a low voice she 
merely replied, " I was' contemplating 
the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, 
my Lord." 

" And do you know, beloved Victoria," 
replied Berenza, " that I fancy my health 
already improved from the effects of our 
journey, this beautiful seclusion, and these 
pure airs." 

Victoria felt that this idea of Rerenza'swas 
k 5 indeed 



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1202 ZOFLOtA* 0&, TH? MOOX, 

indeed mere fancy, for well she knew 
that, on the preceding evening, onre- 
strakned by fats fatigue, the circumstances 
*df the tfloflrtefct, or the ;paHid cheek of Be- 
*efaza, she had administered to him his 
death-dealing draught. The bare asser- 
tion, however, that he did not feel ill, 
disturbed her for the moment, and she 
secretly resolved, that in the next draught 
*fce would mingle more of the poison. 
ff>or the present, however, she accom- 
panied him from the window, and 
joined the party already assembled at 
breakfast. . 

persevering with relentless barbarity, 
>«re tfoe ten days nvcre concluded, Victoria 
iftd administered to the Conte the last 
atom of the poison; she therefore, as 
evening came on, wandered forth, in hopes 
•f eftcorotering the Moor, with whom* 

since 



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.ZttFXOYA; OH, THE JtfOOat. COS 

aifcoe her (arrival at Torre Alto, «he had 
flcarcely found an opportunity of con* 
versing. 

She took her way across the almost 
pathless forest ; for the deeper and more 
gloomy the solitude, the more probable 
-she thought it, that Zoffoya would choose 
it for 'his haunt* 

Arcoidingly, she bad not proceeded 
far, ere, .as if informed by sympathetic in- 
fluence of her wishes, she beheld tlhe 
stately Moor issuing from a break among 
the trees* Cbectly across her path. 'She 
caWed to jhfwn .aJoud; when,slight*y botouig, 
be arrested his steps till she came up with 
\i»m. 

j Impltieuce to begin ofc subjects mate 

• important^ prevented her from remarirfAg 

*he;oog4 and 'haughty conduct ^f Zoflbya, 

k 6 who, 



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204 Z0FI»QYA'; OR, THE MOOR. 

who, instead of proceeding rapidly to 
meet her, had contented himself with 
awaiting her arrival at the spot where he 
stood. 

" Zofloya," she said, as she took his 
arm, and walked rapidly onwards, u can 
you not at once deliver me from the tor- 
tures I endure ? Having embarked thus 
far, my soul is sick of the delay ; I there- 
fore implore, if you desire to serve me, 
that you will do it speedily and effectu- 
ally." 

" Signora," answered the Moor grave- 
ly* " your movements have already out- 
stepped my directions, and your preci- 
pitancy has gone near to defeat . your 
views : the present illness of the Conte 
is of a nature to induce gradual and ul- 
timate dissolution j there is nothing in ks 
appearance, which in the common course 

of 



V 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



zofloya; or, the moor. 205 

of things, could warrant the event of sud- 
den death ; such an occurrence, therefore, 
would give immediate rise to suspicioh,with 
every colour of justice on its side: behold, 
therefore, and pardon my abruptness," 
he added, " here is that which will cause 
considerable change in the Gonte. Seven 
days, will eihatist it : but it must not be 
exhausted in a shorter period. Moreover, 
Signofa, I warn you, that if my directions 
are in the smallest tittle infringed, you 
weaken the power by which I act, and 
destroy the effect which strict adherence 
to the rules laid down can alone pro- 
duce." Then giving a small paper into 
the hands of Victoria, with distant air 
he bowed his head, and, striking imme- 
diately into the deep recesses of the wood, 
became lost to her view. 

" Singular being," thought Victoria, as 
with slow and meditating steps she re- 
took 



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806 ZDFLOYiA ; Ot, THE M06*. 

-took her path towards the castella, *' how 
happens it, that with a thousand questions 
to ask him, I find time to ask him no- 
thing? and, with a thousand inq un- 
ties to raafce respecting himself, nay 
tongue refuses in his presence to perform 
its office, and I remain unsatisfied?' T fetts 
reflecting,. she increased her pace, for the 
darkest shadows of evening were begin- 
ning to fatL As she approafchad the cas- 
tle, .she beheld coming, as if to seek he*, 
the youthful Henrique^, ufndonscious ob- 
ject of the devouring flame that consumed 
<her. At sight of h*m, her heart throb- 
bed, and various emotions filled her 
hretist. 

" I come, Signora," he cried, as he 
drew near, " at the desire of my brother; 
he became impatient at your absence, 
perhaps apprehensive at this late hour, 

and 



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ZOFXOYA; OR, THI MOO*. 207 

and entreated that I would seek and ac- 
company you home/' 

" A task,*' said Victoria, in a reproach- 
ful accent, " which you would rather 
have been spared." 

« No, indeed, Signora," coolly, though 
politely, answered Henriquez, " to give 
a moment's ease to the bosom of a beloved 
brother, to attend to his last request, and 
gratify even his most insignificant wishes, 
I could never deem a task." 

44 To wish for me, was indeed an in- 
significant wish," gloomily observed Vic- 
toria. 

" I said not so, Signora." 

As he spoke, the foot of Victoria 

striking 



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208 zoploya; or, the moor, 

striking l against a point of projecting 
stone, she stumbled •> Henriquez instinc- 
tively caught her arm. Victoria snatched 
it away resentfully, and, while tears al- 
most started to her eyes, she said— • 

(i No matter, Signor Henriquez, no 
matter to you if I fall." 

€t Good Heaven ! Signora, why should 
you think thus ? How have I given rise to 
so unjust a surmise ?" 

" You know, you know you hate," in 
an agitated voice, cried Victoria, thrown 
entirely off her guard. 

Henriquez looked towards her with 
surprise, and, at a loss what to reply, 
bowed with an embarrassed air. 

Victoria 



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ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 209 

Victoria Remained silent for a few mo- 
ments, and then in a calmer voice re- 
sumed — 

" Had the Conte desired you to seek 
Lilla, with what alacrity would you have 
obeyed." 

u Ah !" returned Henriquez, with ani- 
mation, u who could have reminded me 
to seek Lilla? since my eyes, accustomed 
to dwell upon her, would so soon have 
missed their wonted delight." 

Victoria scowled, with mingled rag* 
and jealousy, upon Henriquez ; but he 
looked not towards her, and if he had, 
the hour had been almost too dark for 
him to distinguish the expression of her 
coufttenance, which was so terrible, it 
might almost have been felt by inspira- 
tion. By degrees, however, she quelled 



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^K) ZOFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR. 

the violence of her sensations, and, in a 
smothered voc e, observed**— 

" Henriquez, you love LiHa." 

"Love!" he emphatically replied, "I 
adore her! I idolize her! She is the light 
of my eyes, the sunshine of my soul, the 
spring which actuates my existence! 
Without her, life to me would be a dreary 
blank* and, if fate snatched her from me 
mthis world, I would die, yes, hasten to 
die, that my soul might rejoin her in the 
next, and my body repose by her pure 
ibrm in the grave." 

"Oh! madness, madness 1" muttered 
Victoria, and involuntarily grasped Hen* 
riqaes by the arm. 

"-Sjgnom, are you ill?" he cried, ia- 
*t*atly stopping* 

"No, 



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OJt* THX MOOt. 211 

" No, no, ao ; but I*— I was almost 
©a the paint of falling again," she an* 
swered, gasping for breath ; and in that 
instant she wavered, whether the powder 
she retained in her bosom should not be 
4 destined to Lilla rather then Berenza. 

While this idea crossed her mind, she 
beheld the innocent girl bounding to- 
wards them through the gloom, seeming 
like an aerial spirit, seen by the dubious 
light, scarcely appearing in kg delicate 
movements to tojach the ground. Instant- 
ly the rage of her bosom changed into 
laughing contempt : she felt her icalt 
power could at any time annihilate this, 
the most fragile of nature's productions, 
and diedah&d herself, that she had even 
cast a thought upon an atom so insigni- 
ficant. 

Henriquez flew instantly to meet 

her, 



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212 ZOKLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

her, Victoria slowly followed, and al- 
together entered the castle, the tender 
Lilla with her right hand holding one of 
Victoria's, and passing the left round her 
waist. Proceeding to the room where 
Berenza awaited them, they found him 
stretched at length upon a sopha, which 
being of crimson colour, added a more 
deadly tinge to the paleness of his com- 
plexion 5 as soon as he beheld Victoria, 
he stretched forth his hand to her, and ex- 
claimed— 

ff Ob, my love, whither have you been?. 
I have been wishing for my tender nurse 
to make me a glass of .lemonade." 

<c I have been walking in the forest, my 
love," replied Victoria, and I went fur- 
ther then I intended j but let me hasten 
to prepare your drink." 



So 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 213 

So saying, she quitted the room, and 
in a few moments returned, with a glass 
of lemonade, into which she had already 
infused a sufficient quantity of poison. 
Its additional force discomfited, as at 
first, the debilitated stomach of the un- 
fortunate Berenza, for he had drunk it 
all with avidity. CompTaining of faint- 
ish sickness, he motioned for Victoria to 
sit beside him ; and, leaning his head upon 
her faithless bosom, seemed presently 
overcome by a profound sleep. Soon, how- 
ever, it became disturbed and interrupted 
by convulsive catchings; that innocent 
breath, which issued from his lips, and 
passed over the face of Victoria, spoke 
no reproach to her remorseless bosom. 
A feverish glow passed over his cheek, 
and now was succeeded by a deadly pale- 
ness j now his hand involuntarily shook, 
and now different parts of his body yield- 
ed to a tremulous convulsion; his lips 

quivered, 



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21* ZMLQY&y OR, THEf WDiDR. 

quivered* his eye-lids becao&e agitated By 
a. nervous motion, and he halfcopened his 
eyes, o\jer which tfaere appeared a dim- 
ness like atbm film. Again the heart 
of Victoria yielded to selish. terror, lest 
she had administered too powerful a dose 
of the poison* Berenza^ however, wa* 
not awake, though las eyes remained half 
open; she took his burning hand, and, 
actuated by her fears, strongly pressed it ; 
the action recalled in a moment the 
fleeting senses of Berenza; he started and 
opened bis eyes, from which the film va- 
nished ; then perceiving the false Victor']* 
bending over him, the complaint he was 
about to utter died upon his lips, and 
fearful of giving uneasiness to her, who. 
was deliberately consuming his life, he 
even repressed the look of anguish, strain* 
ing it into a tender smile, and smothered 
the sigh of agony which was bursting from 
hi* bosom. 

« Dear 



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fcOFLOYA; OR, TH* MOOTt. 215 

cc Dear Berenza, you arc ill," cried 
Victoria, gazing with dissembled fond- 
ness in his face. 

€S Only a little languid, my beloved," 
answered he, " a few glasses, of wfne 
will reanimate me," So saying, he rose, 
endeavouring to conceal the access of 
weakness, of which he became sensible, 
from the eyes of every one, but more 
particularly from those of Victoria 5 and 
requesting they might repair to the sup- 
per room, he was that night permitted, 
not from her compassipn, but her base 
policy, to drink his wine unmingled with 
the baleful poison. Yet bitterly she re- 
gretted what she felt to be so^ necessary 
an intermission. 



CHAP. 



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3J6 SOFLOYJLi OR, THE MOOf. 



CHAP. XXIll 

1 he allotted week had not expired, ere 
change sufficient was visible in the unfor- 
tunate Berenza, to satisfy even the soul of 
Victoria, thirsting as it was for his inno- 
cent blood. It was in vain that he gazed 
on her with eyes of dying fondness j it was 
in vain that, when oppressed by raging 
thirst, he called on her for drink, and would 
receive it from no hand but hers : even 
this disarmed not her heart of its fell pur- 
pose, even this touched it not with an 
emotion of pity or remorse. Still she 
infused, with hand restricted only by fear 
of danger to herself, the consuming 
poison into the coveted draught, which, 
so far from allaying the fever of his blood, 
was as oil to the devouring flame. 

Still 



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ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 217 

Still Berenza dreamed not that his 
death was nigh; true, he felt within him, 
an inanity as it were, a languor of the 
heart, with sometimes & kind of distaste and 
weariness of former object's; he knew 
not precisely the nature of his own gensa* 
tions, for they varied occasionally; often 
his spirits were animated, but then it 
was an animation which diffused not its 
vivifying current through the pulses of 
his heart : it sprang not thence, neither 
did it leave cheerfulness behind; it seemed 
independent of himself, as the artificial 
vivacity which is raised by the power of 
wine. Always, after the animal spirits had 
been thus pressed into action, as it were, 
he became feebler, and more dejectedfrowi 
the strained exertion. This Victoria, ob- 
serving, and instantly concluding that 
wine, while it exhilarated hir^i for the 
moment, must still tend to parch up the 
vital heat, she induced him to drink. 

vol. ii. l plentifully 



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218 ZCFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR., 

plentifully of it, thereby causing it to 
answer the double purpose, of blinding 
him to his actual danger, and hastening 
his death. 

His cough had now become more 
serious, exercise » was fatiguing to him, 
and all society but that of Victoria 
irksome ; thus was he completely in her 
power, but nevertheless she durst not go 
beyond the directions of Zofloya. The 
person of the Conte, however, underwent 
no considerable alteration; his complexion 
only had become somewhat pallid, though 
occasionally it glowed with a transparent 
red; but though feeble, and slightly emaci- 
ated, his appetite was increased even to 
ravenousness. 

From this circumstance he could not 
believe himself in actual danger, but ra- 
ther coincided with the pretended hope 

of 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 219 

of Victoria, that time, and a naturally 
robust constitution, would triumph over 
a disorder that he firmly attributed (as 
Victoria had suggested) to some neglected 
and unnoticed cold. The wilds of the 
Appennines seldom tempted him to roam : 
with the .inhabitants of a few gloomy 
castellas, scattered here, and there, at 
immense distances from, his own, he 
never associated; and Victoria affirmed, 
in order to keep him more secure, and* 
avoid the remotest risk of drawing atten- 
- tion towards them, that quiet and rest 
were absolutely indispensable to his reco- 
very. 

Whatever she willed, right or otherwise, 
was law to the fond, the dying Berenza,' 
who forgot in her present apparent ten- 
derness towards him, and seeming de- 
votement, ■ all former coolness and dis- 
content ; at the very moment in which, 

■ • L2 : wim 



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220 Z0FL0YA; OJt, THE moor. 

with treacherous hand, but looks of love* 
she held towards him the life destroying 
draught, in that moment was she dearer 
to his soul than ever, and often, ere he 
put It to his parched lips, did he stay 
his eagerness, to kiss the false hand that 
presented it. 

In vain did Henriquez entreat of his 
infatuated brother to receive advice, to 
explain his sensations, only to hear the 
opinion of a physician f no, he steadily 
refused ; .Victoria was all-sufficient, and on 
her tender care would he alone depend. 

The poison, however, being now ex- 
hausted* and the week elapsed, Victoria 
landing that the miserable Berenza was 
not only yet in existence, but that for the 
two last days he had not appeared more 
evidently reduced than he had for some 
time past, became absolutely impatient 

to 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 221 

to a degree of savageness, and cursed the 
feeble life that still struggled to retain pos- 
session of its wornrout tenement ; deem- 
ing it therefore requisite to seek Zofloya, 
she again repaired to that part of the forest 
where she had last encountered him. This 
time the Moor seemed awaiting her, and 
. hastening towards her, as she approached, 
he said 

<f You are impatient, Signora, at the 
strength of the Conte's constitution; is it 
i>ot so? — But rest satisfied, ydur end U 
answered ; he cannot long survive." 

" Yet does he not appear worse this 
evening than he did eight days ago/ 1 
murmuringly observed Victoria. 

€S Probably not, Signora,- yet are the 

principles of life irreparably sapped, and 

though you should now resign ill farther 

i 3 attempts 



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222 ZOFLOYA; Oft, THE MOOR, 

attempts to utterly destroy them, though 
every aid of medicine might be essayed, 
y£t never now could nature recover herr 
self, for he must eventually and speedily 
perish. " . 

" But how soon ? or he may linger for 
years, even till old age shall have chilled 
the ardent fires which '-now turn .in my 
bosom, till my passions shall have withered 
away,. and my energies become damped! 
Oh, Zofloya! if you desire to serve me, 
let it be at oncej hitherto you have but 
trifled." 

The Moor started back, and looked 
scowlingly upon Victoria ; never before 
had she beheld him look so terrible: in, 
an instant her proud rage subsided, her 
eyes were cast on the earth, and she trem- 
bled at what she had suffered to escape 
her lips. Yes, Victoria, who never before 
.: trembled 



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zofloya j or, the moor. 223 

trembled in the presence of mortal being, 
who did not tremble to agonise and insult 
a father, to revile a mother, and consign a 
husband to the grave, trembled now, in 
the presence of Zofloya. To herself even, 
the sensation she experienced was inex- 
plicable i and involuntarily approaching 
the Moor, who was still disrant from her, 
she took his hand, and said — " Forgive 
me, Zofloya 5 pardon my abruptness, and 
attribute it' to the irksome delay I suffer 
in my hope's, which confuses and distracts 
my. brain." 

" Tis well, Signora," answered the 
Moor, gracefully, yet haughtily bending 
and waving his hand. 

" You forgive me, Zofloya -, deign then 
to advise me." 

" I direct, Siguora, riot advise, and at 
l 4 the 



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224 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE .MOOR. 

the same time must observe, that the 
fullest confidence is to be placed in me ; 
you have not yet found, that I have- de- 
ceived you; it will be early enough for 
reproaches, when you discover that I 
have. Spare them, I beseech you then, 
till the arrival of that period; yotir doubts 
must vanish meantime, and, if you wish 
my assistance, I must *be suffered, without 
comment, to pursue that line best calcu- 
lated to render it effectual. I told you, 
that the drug I gave you would work the 
destruction of the Conte; did I apt add, 
that it would work it slowly? Would you, 
have desired it should be immediate, to 
frustrate for ever your own hopes, aftd 
end at Once my business here ?" 

" Well, Zofloya, I will in all. respects 
follow your directions ; relax then the 
sternness of your brow, and smile upon 
me as usual." , 

.'" Beautiful 



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ZOFfcOYA; Oft, THI MO OK* 225 

* Beautiful Victoria! you are resistless," 
cried Zofloya, dropping on one knee— 
" 'tis I now who sue for pardon, and 
promise to devote myself to your ser- 
vice." . 

<c Rise, gentle Moor, and accept my 
hand," cried the vain and flattered Vic- 
toria - 9 " never shall I have power to re- 
compense you." 

*' You rebonipense me, Signora, in ac- 
cepting my servicer; deign now to listen 
to me: you desire. that Berenza should be 
cut at once from the face of the earth. I 
deem it more advisable that he should 
be left to the concluding effects of the 
poison he has already imbibed; but that I 
may gratify your wishes, and, above all, 
guard against the possibility of disappoint- 
ment, I Have here a drug which I have 
known to be immediate in its operations : 
l 5 lest, 



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226 20FL0YAJ OR, THE MOOR. 

lest, however, it should accidentally fall 
m the present instance, requiring perhaps 
a small addition of some corroborative 
quality, or an increase of the dose, I would 
recommend a previous trial upon some 
indifferent subject— — " He paused. 

* " I know of no subject/' said Victoria, 
musingly. 

" Has not the orphan Lilla an old 
female relative with her?" observed Zo- 
flbya ; " she is, as far as I can see, a most 
useless appendage, apd hereafter might 
even prove troublesome." 

" True," replied Victoria; " she would 
answer excellently for an experiment/' 

The Moor smiled with malice. " .1 
would -have you then, Signora, lead the 
officious dame into the forest ; I will 

shortly 



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20FL0YA ; OR, THE MOOR. 227 

shortly appear, as if by your previous de- 
sire, with two glasses of wine or lemo- 
nade ; you will take the one which J shall 
put next to you, and present the other to 
the old Signora. She is feeble, and totter- 
ing on the verge of the grave ; should not 
an immediate effect be perceptible on her 
swallowing it, we must add a grain for 
the benefit of the Conte." 

" But should it not take instant effect, 
we shall be betrayed, Zofloya." 

* " Leave that to me, Signora, and suffer 
me to proceed: on my having retired, 
you shall run hastily towards' the castle 
for assistance, pretending, which will be 
easily believed, that the Signora hath 
fallen down in a fit/* 

" But should any marks of the poison. 
l 6 becomfe 



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228 ZOFLOYAj OR, THE MOOR. 

become perceptible after her death," in- 
terrupted the selfish Victoria. 

- w - They will be naturally attributed to 
the mode of her death 5 no suspicion, rest 
assured, shall be excited— trust to me, 
beautiful Victoria. I have an interest, a 
deep interest, in preserving'you from ex- 
posure." 

" Well, give me the powder then 5 I 
rely implicitly upon you." The Moor gave 
into her hand a small paper containing the 
poison, and the following morning was 
agreed on for the trial of . its efficacy. 
Separating then, each reached the castle 
by different ways. 

On the following morning Victoria, hav- 
ing watched her opportunity, entered a little 
apartment where the aged and inoffensive 

Signora 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



ZOfrteYA} 6r> t*& MOO*. 22* 

Sfgnopi was tranquilly sitting by a win- 
dow, inhaling, through the bars of a blind, 
the fresh breeze from the mountains. So- 
litary, and forsaken by the ybuhger 
branches of the family, etfen by the gen- 
tle Lilla^ who had been drawn away by 
Henriquez, she smiled with pleasure alt 
the sight of Victoria, who, moTe rarely 
than any one, deigned to notice her. 

" What, entirely alone, Signcra," she 
exclaimed as she entered * " come then," 
in a gay and conciliating tone, H come, 
let me lead you out ; you will find the 
open air do you more service thafc inhal- 
ing it through this confined medium. " 

The poor Signora, surprised and flat- 
tered at such wonderful condescension, 
rose with trembling limbs, yet with all 
the alacrity she could assume, 

" Lean 



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230 ZOFLOTA* OR, THE MOOR. 

<c Lean upon me, good Signora," said 
Victoria, " and let me assist you," 

The gratified and feeble Signbra re- 
spectfully accepted the offer. . Panting 
with weakness, she gained at length, how- 
ever, the precincts of the forest Here 
Victoria, though she cursed and dreaded 
the delay, was lUndef the necessity of 
permitting her for a few moments to rest 
upon hef arm. But her evil genius as- 
sisted her evil intent; no one appeared 
in view, and the fresh air having a little 
restored the imbecile powers of her un- 
suspecting cc>mpanion, she prevailed up- 
on her to proceed, and succeeded at 
length in luring her, by the unusual ho- 
nor of her attention, to a more gloomy 
part of the forest,* where a rocky accli- 
vity on one side, offered at its base a rug- 
ged arid projecting seat. Here Victoria, 
affecting to have selected this spot for its 

con- 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 231 

convenient attributes in shading them at 
once from the sun and the wind; and like- 
wise affording them a seat, entreated the 
Signora to rest, while, with treacherous 
kindness, she assisted her to sit. 

Appearing then infinitely grieved at 
h&r evident weariness, though the poor 
Signora, from complaisance and gratitude, 
forbore complaint* she observed to her, 
" You are indeed fatigued, Signora* I 
apprehend the exertion has been too 
much for you ; allow me to return to the 
€astle and procure you some refresh- 
ment—though, generally, the Moor Zo- 
floya brings me about .this hour sherbet 
or lemonade." 



cc 



The Santa Maria forbid !" replied 
the Signora, " that you should give your- 
self, any troubles a little rest will quite 

restore 



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/ 



232 ZOfrLOYAl OH, TUB, MOO*. 

restore me— but I am no longer youa& 
Signora." 

At that moment Victoria beheld among 
the trees the emerald-covered turban of 
Zofloya, glittering to the sun-beam; her 
heart leaped, and she rose to receive 
•from him the glasses of lemonade, which 
he carried in a silver salver. Punctual in 
taking for herself that which the Moor 
held towards her, she presented the other 
to the unconscious Signora, who received 
it with palsied hand, but with a thankful 
smile and a dim eye that looked on her 
with gratitude. • 

Scarcely, however, had 9he taken oflF 
the fatal draught, ere, overcome by dread- 
ful sickness, she fell headlong from her 
seat : she essayed to speak, her sunken 
eyes rolled dreadfully, and, with violent 

con- 



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ZOFLOYA; -Oil, THE MOOR. 233 

convulsions, she uttered, '" I am — I am 
poisoned!" 

u She will not die," muttered Victo- 
ria, in a low voice, to the Moor. 

Zofloya replied not, but, stooping over 
the struggling unfortunate, he compressed 
her withered throat with his dark hand, 
and the sounds, half-formed, rattled with* 
in it. Then risiqg, with unruffled visage, 
he laid his finger on his lip, and pointing 
towards the castle, precipitately disap* 
peared. *• 

Victoria understood the movement ; 
neither shocked nttf alarmed at tile fright- 
ful outrage committed, she ran from th6 
recess, and, as she gamed the castle, called 
loudly for help. Servants immediately 
came running different ways, and, when 
informed that a terrible catastrophe had 

befallen 



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234 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

befallen the old Signora, they hastened to 
the spot. Even Berenza conquered his 
pain and lassitude, to gaze with awe up- 
on the melancholy fate, a forerunner only 
of his own. The innocent Lilla, almost 
frantic, exclaimed in agony, as she leaned 
over the lifeless body of her only relative, 
that she had now, indeed, no friend, but 
was a deserted orphan left destitute in the 
world. 

" Unkind Lilla/* cried Henriquez, en- 
deavouring to draw her from the painful 
scene, " have you not a lover, and can 
you want a friend ?" 

Lilla replied not, while tears of anguish 
coursed down her fair cheeks, and me- 
lancholy forebodings filled her breast. 

Henriquez passed his arm round her 
waist, and forced her from the spot, 

while 



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fcOFLOYA* OR, THE MOOR. 2S5 

while Victoria gazed upon them as they 
passed with eyes of malignant rage. 

. Every one believed that the old Signora 
had expired suddenly in a fit j some said 
the air had taken too powerful an effect 
on her* debilitated frame ; some, that she 
had been seized with sudden convulsion; 
while even the wisest attributed the event 
to the visitation of Providence, and the 
infirmity of age, that could no longer sup- 
port the burden of existence. None sur- 
mised the ; real cause : at the dreadful 
scene of her death there were no witnesses 
but its cruel perpetrators ; in the gloomy 
solitariness of mutual guilt, the deed was 
hatched and done. 



CHAP. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



236 ZOFLOYA; Oft, THE MOOR. 



CHAP. XXIV. 



A short time only had elapsed since 
the dreadful catastrophe of the poor Sig-. 
nora, during which Victoria had conti- 
nued, though with pining reluctance, the 
Use of the slow poison (the Moor Zo- 
floyia having peremptorily refused to ad- 
minister as yet the final dose), when, fran- 
tic with protracted hope, and increasing 
j&a&siofy she sought agairi the dark abet- 
tor of he* crifries. It was on an evening, 
when no appointment existed between 
them, at an hour too much earlier than 
she -had yet been accustomed to seek the 
Moor ; but the demons of evil raged with 
such fury in her bosom, that every consi- 
deration was lost in their overpowering 

influence. 



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ZOFLOYA* OR, THE MOOR. 237 * 
* « 

influence. The wretched Berenza stiH 
Jived an obstacle to her wishes r and death, 
death alone, could satisfy her thirsting 
soul. 

She bent her steps towards the thickest 
of the forest $ where the gloomy cypress, 
tall pine, and lofty poplar, mingled in 
solemn umbrage. Beyond, steep rocks* 
seeming piled on one another, inaccessi- 
ble mountains, with here and there a 
blasted oak upon its summit, resembling , 
rather, from the distant point at which it 
was beheld, a stunted shrub 5 huge prer 
cipices down, which the torrent dashedi 
and foaming in the viewless abyss ,with 
mighty rage, filled the most distant parts 
of the surrounding solitude with a mys- 
terious murmuring, produced by the mulr 
tiplied reverberations of sound. 

Victoria stopped for a moment, and 

gazed 



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238 ZOFLOYA} OR, T»E MOOR. 

gazed around ; the wild gloom seerped to 
suit the dark and ferocious passions of 
her soul. She gave way to the chain of. 
thought that came pressing on her mind, 
her heart was anarchy and lust of crime, 
and she regretted that she had suffered till 
now, the existence of aught between her 
and herdesired happiness. "By the dagger's 
aid," thought she, cc I could have accom- 
plished all ere now. 1 despise, yes, de- 
spise my folly, in having deliberated so 
long, and the contemptible fears that 
have restrained my hand." Thus buoy- 
ing herself up to frenzy, she admitted no 
reflection of danger that was attendant on 
the open commission of crime ; herrea-' 
son was blinded by the blandishments of 
guilt, and the despotic sway of evil that 
triumphed in her heart. 

" Oh ! Zofloya, Zofloya," she exclaim- 
ed, with wild impatience, " why art thou 

not 



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Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 239 

not here. Thou, perhaps, and thou alone, 
couldst soothe the burning madness of 
my brain !" 

As she concluded these words, she 
struck her forehead violently with her 
hand, and threw herself with her face 
upon the earth. 

Of a sudden the sweetest sounds stole 
upon her ear* they were like the tremulous 
vibration of a double-toned flute, sound- 
ing as it were from a distance ; its lovely 
•melody by turns softened and agitated 
her ; it seemed not the solemn notes of 
the organ from the neighbouring con- 
vent; no, it -was unlike mortal harmony; 
besides, the convent was on the other side 
of the castle, situated half way down a 
mighty rock, and she had wandered too 
far to catch the smallest note of its deep 
sounding music, even had the wind set 

towards 



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34Q 38F|,OY£$ OR, T-RE jKGOR. 

towards tbe castle. Still the soft tone$ 
continued; and kept her on the rack ber 
tween pain and pleasure ; at one moment 
it brought before her view the idolized 
form of Henriquez, in all the grace of his 
youthful beauty, disposing her to love, 
and the most impetuous passion ; the 
next, its melancholy cadence, suggested, 
to her sickening soul, that him so fran- 
ticly adored might, never be hers* and 
that the barriers existing between them 
could never be overcome. If the turbu- 
lent emotions of her mind abated, they 
gave place Jo other^ no less dangerous — 
still she listened with resistless attentions 
at length a slight pause occurred. 

" Sweet aerial sounds," she cried, 
" yet painful are the impressions I re- 
ceive from you, distracting rather than 
soothing my troubled soul ! sooner, yes • 
sooner, would I hear the footstep of Zo- 

floya, 



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ttOFLOYA; Ofo, Tttfc MOO*. 241 

fioya, or his sweet voice, sweeter thiii ill 
this ihusic." 

u His voice then, and not his step! 
most beautiful Signora," said a voice 
which rivalled indeed the sweetness of 
the music; and Victoria beheld at her side 
the stately Moor. 

- " Astonishing being," she exclaimed, 
u I heard you not indeed $ whence came 
you ?" 

" I am here, Victoria ; will not that 
suffice ?" 

cc Ho^ knew you that I desired your 
presence ?" 

"By sympathy, lovely Victoria ; your 

very thoughts have power to attract me. 

vol, ii. . m Such 



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242 ZOFLOYA* OR, THE MOO*\ 

Such as you have just indulged would 
bring me to you, from the further extre- 
mity of this terrestrial globe." 

" Explain, Zofloya !" 

" They are bold and spirited, they 
convince me that you partake of myself, 
and that you are worthy of my present 
devotion. I am satisfied in this convic- 
tion/' 

cc But, how have you the power of 
divining my thoughts ?" 

Zofloya smiled, and regarded her with 
a piercing eye— <c I can read them now, 
beautiful Victoria ! that high-flushed 
cheek, that wandering eye, are evidences 
that cannot be mistaken." 

Victoria 



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2OFL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 243 

Victoria sighed deeply, and concurring 
in the justice of the observation, inquired 
no further 

The wily Moor had turned her atten- 
tion from his mysteripus insinuations to 
her own conscious feelings ; these alone, 
regained full possession of her, and every 
thing- else appeared trivial in her view. 

; "Oh, Zofloya !" she exclaimed, " truly 
dost thou divine; my soul is indeed dis- 
turbed, and unless thou wilt assist me, I 
am lost/' * 

" Despair not," said the Moor, casting 
himself beside her, as her figure, half 
risen from the earth, was supported by 
bcr elbow, and her head reclined upon 
her hand— " Despair not," he repeated, 
, and unrepulsed took the hand which hung 
down v " sa y but how Zofloya can serve 
M 2 his 



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£4£ ZQ.FLOXAi 0&* TH£ <MO,0£. 

his lovely mistress,, sjnjl let him>prove to 

her his ^zea]," 

" Ah! thou "knowest, tbou knowest, 
Zoflqya," .she cried iippatieptly, when 
looking upon the serious, yet ^xpreseive 
countenance of the Moor, she more calmly 
proceeded: " I have hitherto, Zofloya, 
yielded to thy counsel -j I may say, tptby 
wili, for thou wouldst not grant me that 
•yvhicb ere pow would have set me free. 
.Berenza still lives, still intervenes between 
:jjne and happiness ! ^ell thou knowest 
the feverish suspense which I endure i 
my blood bubbles in my heated veins, and 
J feel within me a? if the p9wers Qf life 
weije withering, scorched and dr}ed up b# 
the racing fires of my long protra^ed 
love. Oh, kind and pitying Mopr, I ask 
thee— yes, I ask thee for that, whiclj by 
ending at once the existence of bica who$e 
emaciated semblance of what he onpq 

was, 



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ZtoFXOrA; *0#i THE J**)^ 24§ 

vfras, rdptoaches, while -irmoeks my hopes, 
shall free him from the lingering torments!" 
he emiwes, and give new life to me 1" 

She paused, and looking on the Mooiy > 
beheld his eyes sparkling with such a 
scintillating brilliancy as it were, that she 
was compelled to withdraw her gaze, 
though impatiently she avyaited his reply. 

€f Victoria," said he, at length, in dul- 
cet aefcents* while the wild emotions of 
Victoria V bosom began already to sub-?, 
$ide, " I would not have thee think that 
in the waywardness of an unkind spirit; 
I refused thee Ay wish; be assured thy. 
"present safety, and the ultimate attain- 
ment of thy hopes; alone actuated me. 
When we essayed the poison on the an** 
cient relative of the orphan -LUla, which: 
speedily extinguished within her the fee- 
ble flame of life, I ask thee> would 
MS it 



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246: ZOTLQYAi OR, THE MOOR. 

it have been expedient, according to thy • 
ill-judged desire, to have administered' 
on the following day a similar draught 
to the Conte? What terrible and dan- 
gerous surmises would instantly have 
been excited, marring thereby, and' 
putting perhaps an eternal period to 
all thy hopes ? It was necessary that a 
short time at least should elapse ; mean- 
while, we have not lost any, for not a day 
hath since passed, that has not brought 
him nearer to his grave ; because he still 
breathes, and faintly lives, thou believest 
that his breath and life are not nearly ex- 
hausted: it is riot so, however; and the 
slightest iriipellarit fritf tumbld hirrt Head- 
]<&£ into the sarins of death 1 .' Had we 
not first ess&yed the efficacy of the 
poison upon the old Signora, but un- 
advisedly had administered it to him, he 
would have languished for a time, and his 
situation would have awakened suspicion/ 

Now 



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zofloy'a; or, the moor. 247 

Now will I be sworn that success, imme- 
diate success, shall attend our attempt, 
and that Berenza shall die without power 
to express a word ; depend on me then, 
lovely Victoria; place implicit confidence 
in Zofloya," 

" Ah, if you are indeed anxious to 
serve me, Zofloya," cried Victoria, with 
a smile that evidenced the joy imparted 
by the last words of the Moor, 4< why did 
you not seek me at once, and put the 
speediest possible end to my protracted 
misery ?" 

" I did not seek you, because it in- 
creases my triumph and my pleasure that 
you should will me into your presence ; 
with joy do 1 promote your wished, but 
with redoubled joy when you yourself 
invite me. — Besides,'* added he, " I 
m4 am 



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Sr^ft ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

am. almost convinced, that it would be 
as w^ll even yet to delay for a time— " 

" Oh, talk not to me so," interrupted 
Victoria, u wherefore, wherefore delay?" 

" The better to evade suspicion," re- 
joined the Moor. 

c < Oh^ you are bent upon destroying 
me, Zdfloya ;" when perceiving a gather- 
ing frown upon the countenance of the 
Mo0T 9 she, hastily added—— 

* c Oh, frown not so terribly, Zofloya, 
hflt assist rae at once ; thereby laying 
cj^ijtn to my. eternal gratitude, arid enr 
l^&cing the benefit you confer." 

Itnshall be /so thee/ 9 replied the Moor, 
vtith a f beautiful but peculiar smile ; (€ I 

will 



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ZVTLGYA; OK, TlTE MOOR. 249 

will -yield to your desire, assist you in 
your attempt, and shield you from all 
immediate consequences ; this night re- 
moves from your view, one become so 
obnoxious to it." 

" This night! saidst thou Zofloya?" 
cried Victoria, in an exulting voice. 

" This very night," returned the Moor ^ 
u within this hour, you shall see your de- 
sire fulfilled, and I will preserve you from 
every danger and suspicion." 

u OhI Moor, I thank thee," exclaimed 
Victoria, seizing in her joy his hand, and 
pressing it to her bosom. 

The Moor turned upon her his. re- 
splendent eyes, — " Is not that heart mine, 
Victoria?" said he, in an impressive; 
voice. 

M5 « It 



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250 ZOFLOYA; Oft, THE MOOR. 

" It is indeed, gratefully bound to you, 
Zofloya," she answered, looking upon 
him with a disconcerted air. 

€C I say it is mine, Victoria," returned 
be; " But," he added smilingly, <c fear not, 
fori am not jealous of ' your passion for 
another." 

Victoria felt surprise; she lifted her 
eyes to the countenance of the Moor, but 
they fell beneath his fiery glances — she 
would have spoken ; she knew not what 
conflicting emotions chained her tongue, 
dip desired to reprove his boldness, but 
needing his assistance, she durst not— she 
beheld herself in his power, and, in the 
abjectijess of her guilt, ^he trembled. 

Zofloya smiled, his hand had remained 
on her bosom, its hard pressure, seemed 
heavy on her heart !— He now with- 
drew 



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Z0FL0YAJ OR, THE MOOR. 251 

drew it, and her confused senses began 
to rally ; she felt released, as from a grasp 
of iron , again she ventured to turn her 
eyes towards him, )ris features had re- 
sumed their usual expression, animated, 
but serene, resembling' the returning 
brilliant calmness of a summer sky, that 
had looked lurid with the threatened 
storm. In an instant his ambiguou s 
words vanished from the mind of Vic- 
toria, or ceased to make impression; 
aught was pardonable in the resistless 
{Zofloya, and she faintly smiled. 

<c Victora," he observed, <c it is yet 
light, the evening is mild and beautiful, 
the breeze from the ' mountains bears- 
temptation on its wings, it promises 
delight to those in health, and reanima- 
tion to the feeble. Berenza will, I think, 
be induced to venture forth $ leave this 
spot therefore, walk towards the castle, 
m 6 , and 



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2$2; Z.OFXOYA; Oft* T^E MOOR* 

and you^ may eneountef himj if you do, 
you will see me likewise ; should Berenza 
be sick, let your eyes seek me; when 
mine meet yours, put forth your hand, 
and receive whatever I shall offer you ; 
give it to Berenza, and the result will be 
manifested ! — r-Farewell." 

So saying, in a moment he turned, and 
walked^ rapidly awpy; soon Victoria be- 
held; him no mpre; his movement had 
been so: precipitate, , so sudden, that 
scarcely could she believe she had but 
just beheld him. With slow and linger- 
ing steps she prepared however to depart. 
The words of the Moor still sounded in 
her ears, but their import was not clear 
to her j his mysterious deportment occu- 
pied her thoughts, and, though in his 
presence hope and pleasant feelings dif- 
fused themselves through her bosom, no 
sooner was he vanished than, for the 

temporary 



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ZOFLOYA.; OR t TH*. M0O1U 251 

temporary calm she had experienced, 
accumulated horrors distracted her — the 
wildest phrenzy of passion, the most un- 
governable hate, and thirst, even for the, 
blood of all who might oppose her. la 
a mind of such gloomy anarchy, was she , 
now traversing the forest, her pace quick, 
and irregular ; already had she entered 
the path leading to the castle, when a 
faint and hollow voice uttered her 
name. 

Raising her eyes, she started on be- 
holding before her the heart-touching 
semblance of what he once had been; 
the dying, but unconscious Berenza, sup- 
ported between Lilla and Henriquez * 
his faded form was before her indeed, 
but she beheld him not, for her guilty 
eyes were directed instantly towards his 
blooming; brother> whose sparkling eye, 
and health-animated form, presented too 

sure 



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254 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

sure a striking contrast to the feeble 
being beside him. Sunk was the once 
brilliant eye, and robbed of its. red rose 
teint, the pallid cheek of Berenza* de- 
spoiled of their healthful firmness, his 
emaciated nerveless limbs; his once 
expanded chest, expanded now no longer, 
but contracted, and oppressed by a diffi- 
culty of respiration 5 his elevated figure, 
his step bold and erect, nqw changed 
and depressed by the hard hand of long 
protracted suffering; the wretched Be- 
renza retained about him no traces ^>f 
what he once had been, save in the sweet 
suavity of his unaltered manners, save in 
the never dying grace that, even in a state 
so pitiable, accompanied his every move- 
ment. The philosophic dignity of his 
soul, his native strength of mind, forsook 
him not, but taught him, as through life 
it had done, to rise superior to his bodily 
ills— ills which even yet he vainly flat- 
tered 



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ZOPXOYA; OR, THE MOOR. $55 

tered himself were not irremediable; 
In the delusive fondness oi Victoria's, 
eyes he still read hope ; from her well- 
feigned solicitude he derived consolation, 
apd felt as though while beloved and at- 
tended by her, death, could not reach 
him:—- her love, l)er tenderness, seemed 
to him a protecting- shield, through which 
its arrows could not pierce. Each pul- 
sation of that faintly throbbing heart 
beat still with unvarying love for her; 
and, as he beheld her approaching, he 
disengaged his arm from Henriquez, and 
hastening towards her, even at the peril 
of sinking, he leaned his tretnbling hand 
upon her shoulder for support, and in an 
under voice he cried 

" The hope of meeting thee, my love, 
hath enabled me to proceed thus far. I 
now feel nearly overcome ; lead me where 
for a moment I my rest myself. 

" Canst 



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256 ZOfrLOYA; ORITUR MOOR. 

"Canst thou, walk a, few paces fur- 
ther ?" inquired Victoria, leading -hhn on-' 
wards to the very spot where the unfortu- 
nate; Signora had yielded up her life $ they 
were then at no great distance from it* 
and Berenza, unable to reply* motioned" 
that he might be supported thither. 

Henriquez and Lilla joined to assist 1 
him. In a few minutes he gained the 
shady recess, and reposed himself upon 
that seat that had already been so fatai 
to another ; passing then his arm around 
Victoria, he leaned his head upon her 4 
bosom. 

" You are much fatigued, my love," 
she observed, in an anxious voice, as she 
sat beside him. 

" Yes, my Victoria; and I would I 
were at the castle, for I faint with thirst." 

" What 



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3OFL0Y A ; OR, TttC MOOJU £57 

" Whfct wouldst thou, Berenza* I will 
hasten for it/' , said Victoria* 

" Drink, drinkl No. matter what/* 
answered the miserable Berenza, " spme- 
thing to revive my sinking soul." 

" Oh, my brother!" cried Henriquez; 
you drink .more than is prudent; and( 
wine but increases the fever which con- 
sumes you/* 

" What, Henriquez!" hastily, ancfc 
somewhat reproachfully* cried the agitata 
ed Berenz?, rendered irritable by long* 
suffering; " I named not wine: but if V 
had, wouldst thou deprive me of every; 
consolation, refuse me every desire ^' 

Never- before load- the hapless Berenza 
expressed himself thus to a brother whom 

~. he 



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258 zoploya; or, the moor. 

he tenderly loved : no sooner, therefore, 
did he observe that the feelings of Hen- 
riquez were wounded, than, stretching 
forth his hand, while a tear trembled in 
his eye, he said . 

" Forgive me, Brother, forgive me ; 
you do not feel as I do, nor would I have 
you j without wine Kam a wretch 5 for, 
while it quenches the intolerable th'irst 
which seems to parch my vitals, it warms 
and invigorates my debilitated frame ; it 
gives new life to ray sinking spirits, and 
renovates, when they begin to fail, my 
hopes of recovery' ■ » " Here, overcome 
by weakness, he could only wave his 
hand; which motion Henriquez compre- 
hending, and vexed to have uttered aught 
that could in the smallest degree thwart 
his unfortunate brother, cried— 

fi 7 , 



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Z6PL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 259 

4( Fly, my Lilla, to the castle, and bring 
our brother some wine ; h6 may need my 
assistance, here therefore I will remain. 

The beauteous Lilla bounded away to 
execute her mission. Berenza recovered 
a little ; but his heart beat quick, though 
feebly, and his frame trembled with an 
inerease of debility. 

Lilla presently returned; "I met the 
Moor Zofloya," she cried, as she ap- 
proached, " and he hastens now towards 
us with wine. I told him an overflowing 
goblet for you, my Lord ;" she said, with 
a sweet smile, addressing Berenza— 

% <c Did you, my little love?" said Be- 
renza, faintly smiling, in return for her 
innocent attention. 

Meantime, with quick step, Zofloya 

drew 



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260 Z^FLOYA-J ORj.THI MOOUx 

drew near t at sight of hhtt violent emo- 
tion seized the breast of Victoria. Nw 
his last words began to be explained) find 
she wondered in silence. 

He approached and presented to tha 
Conte the goblet of wine which he car- 
ried* 

fC Give it to me, my Victoria," cried 
Bereaza,; "from thy hand would I re- 
ceive it," and with difficulty her raised Mar 
beating head from her bosom* 

Victoria stretched forth her hand fo* 
the wine: her eyes met those of Zofioya* 
they were pregnant with terrible intelli- 
gence, for they* spoke that death was in 
the goblet which she received from his 
hand. 

With all her unshrinking hardihood' in 

deed* 



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;?f»FJKHz4;iORj THE MOO*. 1261 

4ft?ds of horror, the strange, the dreadful 
e#prejsicm of JZoftoya's countenance 
ghook her inmost soul: nerving her hand, 
however, she took, with assumed steadi- 
ness, the . fatal glass, and presented it to 
the anxious Berenza. He raised it, fixing 
-his hollow eyes upon her countenance; 
and then, looking up to Heaven, as if to 
4all down blessings on her head, he raised 
it to hi? lips and hastily drank its con- 
sents, evjen tp the dregs ! 

Scarce had he done, so, ere, with con* 
yujsive motion, his band was pressed up- 
on his heart, that heart seized with an 
acutq ?nd sadden pang: yet he uttered 
not a wordi for, while the fires of jEtna 
consumed his vitals, respiration was near- 
ly arrested, and he gasped his lips 
and cheeks became deadly pale, his eyes 
closed, his hands fell nerveless beside him, 

.and, bereft of sense, he sunk back ! 

Who 



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262 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOQR. 

Who more collected than the dark Zo- 
floya ? He loosed the vest of the Conte, 
he rubbed his hands and his temples ; and* 
while horror assailed Henriquez, and even 
the guilty Victoria felt a selfish terror at 
the sudden accomplishment of her owii 
wishes, he calmly, though with seem- 
ing sorrow, expressed his idea that the 
Conte had fainted through % excessive 
weakness, and would probably recover if 
conveyed into the castle, where proper 
remedies could be administered. To this 
remark Henriquez, though almost insen- 
sible from alarm, sadly assented $ the 
Moor then raising in his brawny arms, 
him whom he well knew would never 
more revive, hastened with him into the 
house. 

The lifeless Berenza being laid upon a 
couch, a favorite servant of the Conte'g, 
by name Antonio, proposed instantly to 

go 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 263 

go in search of a certain Monk belonging 
to the neighbouring convent, who was 
reported to be highly skilled m physic 
and the disorders of the human frame. 
Henriquez, catching at the idea, hastily 
dispatched him, with every promise of 
reward, if be used expedition ; and, mean- 
time, approaching his brother, assisted 
Victoria and her wily coadjutor in their 
pretended endeavours to restore him. 

, That every effort was vain, is scarcely 
necessary to be said : yet great was the 
trepidation of Victoria, lest the reputed 
Skill of the Monk, if it failed in counter- 
acting the deadly effects of the poison, 
should at least reveal to him that poison 
had been resorted to. This idea threw her 
into a state of terror, that not all her de- 
pendence on £ofloya, nor even the offend- 
ed glances of encouragement, which, from 

time 



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£64 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

time to time, he cast on her, could sub- 
due. 

After some time of excruciating atox* 
iety, passed by all, though from different 
motives, A ntonio at length- returned. He 
was accompanied by a Monk indeed, but 
not by him whom^ he sought, the Reve* 
rend Father being absent from the con- 
vent on visits of charity 4n a distant ham* 
let. The one now with him was offered 
as his substitute, and highly recommended 
by the superior, as second at least to Fa- 
ther Anselmo in physical knowledge, and 
his equal in piety, charity, and good-will 
towards men. 

The Monk approached Berenza, and, 
after looking at h\tn a few moments, de- 
sired that his arm might be uncovered $ 
then, taking his lancet from his pocket, 

' he 



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ZOFLOYA ; OR, THE MOOR. 265 

he made a small puncture • in the vein. 
Victoria bent over him with well-feigned 
sorrow, while ' Henriquez held his mo- 
tionless hand. Suddenly, (though, at the 
first pur ct are, a single drop had refused 
to flow,) the blood started forth, and flew 
in- the face of Victoria ! 

Terror and surprise nearly overpowered 
the conscience- stricken wifej the aveng- 
ing blood of Berenza had fixed upon his 
murderer, and hung its flaming evidence 
upon her cheek ! She dared not lift her 
eyes, lest those of others should read in 
them the self-written characters of guilt ; 
but, with trembling hand, raising a hand- 
' kerchief to her face, wiped away the 
crimson stains, and then again ventured 
to bend over his lifeless form, still in ter- 
rible expectation of some further fearful 
event. All was over, however ; the blood 

yoi/.ii. n had 



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266 ZQtXOYAj OK4 THE MOQJt. 

had ju$t started, and instantly ceased j ant* 
mation .was not suspended merely— it was 
for ever Jled! 

No one suspecting her guik, fier agita- 
tion was attributed only to the acutely 
painful feelings natural to be excited by an 
occurrence so affecting. While the 
thoughts and observation of all were still 
engaged upon Berepza, she ventured to 
praise her eyes ; the terrible eyes of Zo- 
Hoya alone encountered hers: in them 
she read the desperate and gloomy fierce- 
ness of determined crime ; she could not 
jjaze upon them, but hastily looked away, 

Though despairing of the smallest suc- 
cess, the Monk had opened a vein in the 
♦other arm of Berenza.: the terrors of Vic- 
toria were renewed, but groundlessly j no 
Jife-warm current fallowed the lancet's 
point s the heart was for ever motionless, 

and 



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ZOILOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 26T 

and the bosom in which once it had beat 
high in healthful firide, inanimate and cold; 
hope could no more be indulged— for no 
swoon but the eternal sleep of death was 
discovered to have seized Berenza. 

Such a fate, so sudden, so terrible for 
the best of human beings, excited bitter 
grief in the minds of all but Victoria. 
Yet even those who lamented him most, 
felt no surprise; for though immediate 
death had not been foreseen, no one had 
ventured to hope that it was far distant. 
He had not expired in the plenitude of 
vigbrous health; his decay, on the con- 
trary, had been progressive, though rapid, 
and his dissolution hastened, as Henrique? 
believed, by the unhappy determination 
of his beloved brother to refuse all me* 
dical advice, in the strange, delusive per* 
suasion of his ever-reasoning mind, that 
nature must be all-sufficient to triumph 
v £ in 



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£68 zofloya; qr, the moor. 

in time over her own complaints. Never* 
in despite of representations most deli- 
cately urged, would Berenza give ear to 
any suggestions of actual danger; and for 
this pertinacity, Henriquez, too justly, in 
his mind arraigned Victoria, so tenderly 
beloved by the Conte; and often had he 
felt surprise and indignation that she 
never joined with others in entreating 
him to alter his fallacious system/when 
she well knewthat her word,- or slightest 
persuasion, would have changed instantly 
his most obstinate resolve. On the con- 
trary, she would often argue with him, 
that physicians were ignorant, dangerous 
experimentalists, and pretend to be her- 
self a convert to the hazardous plan, of 
trusting all to the operations of nature. 
Jn consequence of these reflections, the 
jieart of Henriquez involuntarily turned 
against the infamous wife ; he had never 
yiewed her with sentiments of regard, arid 

she 



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20FL0YA; OR, THE MOOfc. 269 

she was now more than unpleasing in his 
sight: from an unaccountable combina- 
tion of ideas, he connected her so inti- 
mately with the cause of Berenza's death, 
by having upheld him in his mistaken 
notions, that he shrunk almost instinc- 
tively from her, with a sentiment of 
horror. Unhappy Brother ! little didst 
thou surmise, how well, how justly found- 
ed, were the feelings of thy breast, where- 
in nature so powerfully asserted herself. 



n$ CHAP. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



270 4OFL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 



CHAP. XXV. 

When, at a late hour, the inmates of 
the mansion that so late had owned Be* 
renza for its lord, retired to their respec- 
tive apartments, more to indulge in soli* 
tude their grief for his loss, than to seek 
repose : it chanced that Victoria, whom; 
no feeling, however, of regret or remorse 
for the cruel death inflicted by her on 
the most excellent of human beings, de- 
prived of the power to sleep, awakened 
soon after she retired to bed from a dis- 
turbed and terrifying dreaai. Starting 
up in her bed, she gazed around the cham- 
ber, still trembling under its .'dreadful im- 
pression. She thought that entering the 
apartment where the corpse of the deceased 
Conte reposed, she had drawn aside the 

cur- 



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tvt to* a i or, th* Kloo*. Vft 

Curtains of the bed, and* beheld his coun- 
tenance and various parts of his body dis* 
coloured and disfigured by livid marks — 
evidences of the poison which ba*l been* 
given him ^ that, in the frenzy of despair 
and terror/ she had called upon and re- 
proached Zofloya, who, without deigning 
to reply, gazed upon her with a stern and 
bitter smile* Thus, in a state of mind 
baftmg description, she had awakened, 
and the impression made by her dreiim 
w»3 so strong, that, although she endea* 
vowed to view it only as an insignificant 
vision, caused by the events of the day, 
she found it impossible to compose her- 
self; the figure of Berenza, discoloured 
by the effects of the poison, stiH swam in 
her view. 

At length, determined to end what she 

conceived to be her superstitious terrors, 

she resolved to seek the apartment of the 

n 4 Conte, 



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272 ZOFLOYAJ OR, THE MOOR. 

Conte, and to satisfy herself with the con- 
viction that her dream was without foun- 
dation, phantoms conjured merely by a 
diseased imagination. 

Accordingly, rising from bed, she wrap- 
ped herself in a loose white dress, and 
took in her hand a lamp, which was burn- 
ing on a marble table at the other end of 
the room. As she quitted her chamber, 
it occurred to her, that Zofloya had said 
he would shield her from suspicion^ he 
might mean only with respect to having 
caused the death of the Conte; he had 
not expressly said, that after his death it 
should not be possible to ascertain by 
what means it had been occasioned. 
This reflection accelerated her steps, and, 
with pallid cheek and beating heart, she 
reached the room, where, in awful jsoli- 
tary stillness; reposed the body of the 
Conte. Pausing, trembling at every step, 

dreading 



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ZOFLOYA* OR, THB MOOR. 273 

dreading to discover she knew not what, 
slowly she approached the bed whereon 
he lay. The curtains, which were of 
gause, were drawn close around ; still he- 
sitating without, she endeavoured to look 
through them: but the outline only of 
the poor Berenza's form was discernible, 
as seen through a thin mist. Summon- 
ing resolution then, she drew the curtains 
apart ; a slight covering still lightly veil- 
ed his countenance i desperate, fierce, she 
snatched it away, when, horrible con- 
firmation of her fears, she beheld the fea- 
tures disfigured indeed, and frightfully 
changed, even to the most extravagant 
portraiture of her^stempered fancy! — 
For a few moments she remained rooted 
to the spot ; then resistlcssly impelled to 
search for, and know the worst at once, 
however it might increase her consterna- 
tion and despair, she opened his peace* 
ful unconscious bosom, whereon larg£ 
n5 spots- 



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274 ZOFLOYA; OR, *H& MOa*. 

spots of livid green and blue became 
revealed, and struck her almost senseless 
With overpowering dread ! not the dread 
of public justice, so much as the dread, 
Horrible to her, that the discovery, or sus^ 
picion of her guilt, would prevent, before 
death, the accomplishment of her crimi- 
nal wishes, rendering thereby useless and 
unavailing the enormities sbebad atchieved 
for their sake. 

These ideas glanced rapidly through 
her mind ; she still remained by the side 
of the bed, gazing upon the placid 
though discoloured features of him she 
had destroyed, and which, had shebeen 
susceptible of compunctious feeling, spoke 
m. their mournful fixedness a thousand 
reproaches on her guilt. But no, her 
thoughts were employed upon the con- 
sequences likely to ensue to herself; the 
hour. of morning began to approach, and 

her 



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•8&Fi6*A;-OR/TIf2 M06-K. 27$ 

her heart beat with increased alarm, at 
the idea of the surmises that must soon 
be excited by the altered appearance of 
the Conte. The • terrible Inquisition !— » 
its horrid torments, its lynx-eyed scrutiny, 
pressed upon her brain— at this juncture 
she thought of Zofloya ; a faint hope 
that he might assist her in the present 
confusion of her ideas, determined her 
to apply to him— yet how to seek him? 
and at this hour how could she, to' 
the presumptuous Moor, excuse the inde- 
corum of summoning him ? 

These reflections, unworthy however 
the masculine spirit of a Victoria, she 
speedily overcame, in the stronger sense* 
of her embarrassment, and she decided 
to seek him instantly. She knew that ' 
his apartment was situated near that of 
Henriquez, and cautiously she left tjie 
k 6 silent 



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.276 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

silent chamber of death,; and retraced 
her steps along the darksome gallery, 
dimly illumined* only by the lamp she 
held, and which served to .guide her 
steps. As she was slowly proceeding, a 
j-ay from her lamp fell suddenly upon 
the sparkling vest of Zofloya, and. par- 
tially betrayed his towering figure to her 
view* 

«Vl was seeking you* I need your 
advice ; hasten onwards, I pray," in a 
low voic? entreated Victoria, top re- 
joiced to have encountered him, to 
feel surprise at his unexpected ap- 
pearance. 

u Lead on then," replied the Moor* 
^ c 1 am obedient." 

Victoria 



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20*LOYAJ OR, THE MOOVL. 27? 

Victoria laid her finger on her lip, and 
turned back towards the chamber of the 
C.oifte; the contrast between them, as 
they moved along, was peculiarly forcible; 
the figure of Victoria, slender and ele- 
gantly proportioned, arrayed in flowing 
white, with her raven hair streaming 
over her shoulders ; that of Zofloya so 
gigantic, and differently attired, yet 
seeming at intervals, by the dubious rays^ 
of the lapip, and the effect of strong 
shade, increased to a height scarcely 
human. Once or twice, the deceptive 
magnitude of his dark shadow on the 
wall, struck with momentary alarm 
even the hardy Victoria, and might 
have excited remark, but that other 
objects engrossed too deeply her present 
thoughts. 

They now reached the peaceful gloomy 
chamber of Berenza. " Enter, Zofloya/' 

whispered 



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279 ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 

whispered Victoria, and approach that 
bed." 

The Moor obeyed. 

"- a Open the curtains, and gaze upon 
the countenance within." 

The Moor opened the curtains, and 
looked upon the face of Berenza; then 
turning immediately to Victoria* the ex- 
pression of his features, (though less ma- 
lignant and severe,) reminded her forcibly 
of her dream. 

f< Tell me, Moor," she exclaimed, ren- 
dered desperate by her feelings of terror, 
and grasping with violence the arm of 
Zofloya, " tell me, what can be done m 
this terrible extremity ?" 



The Moor was silent* 



u 



Didst 



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Z0*LOYA; OR* TH* MOOR. 27fc 

€t Didst *hou not tell me," pursued 
Victoria, " thou wouldst preserve me 
from suspicion ? Behold those blackened 
features, that discoloured bosom ; who can 
fail immediately to ascertain that poison- 
poison hath caused the death of Be* 
renza ?" 

<c Whoever beholds the Conte will 
clearly ascertain that fact/' Coolly replied 
the Moor. 

" Zofloya, ZofioyaF' cried Victoria, 
gasping with terror, "what is that you 
say?" 

, " I say, beautiful Victoria, whoever 
sees the Conte, will instantly pronounce* 
that his death was caused by poison 1" 

Victoria clasped her hands, and re- 
mained 



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280 Z0FL0YA; OR, THE MOOR. 

mained mute with consternation and an- 
guish, fixing her regards upon the Moor. 

" Victoria!" he cried at length, " if 
you would have iny services, I repeat, 
what I have often urged, you must place 
implicit confidence in me, and firm reli- 
ance; retire now to your chamber, and 
fear nothing for the morrow I" 

" But, Berenza " 

" Leave to me all care for your safety/' 

" But, those marks !" . 

The Moor knit his dark brows— « I 
have 'said, 99 he cried, in a stern authori- 
tative voice, and pointed haughtily to the 
door. 

The 



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ZOFJ,OYA; OR, THE MOOR. 281 

* The frame of Victoria trembled, and 
she retreated towards the door. Horror 
and awe, at the inexplicable character of 
the Moor, so wholly possessed her, that 
though she longed, she durst not require 
an explanation of his intentions with re- 
spect to the body of Berenza. His 
dark but brilliant eyes, like two stars in 
a gloomy cloud," pursued her with their 
strong imperious rays, even to the thres- 
hold of the door j she stopped, hesitated, 
and attempted to speak, but the effort 
was vain; arid without power to. offer re- 
sistance, she quitted the apartment. 

Great alternately were the terrors, and 
great the hopes of Victoria. On the 
word of the Moor she had strong reli- 
ance, for she had never yet found that 
he deceived her; but his ambiguous pro- 
mises, his explicit acknowledgment, that 
whoever saw "the body of the Conte must 

dis- 



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292 ZOPLOYA; OR, THE MO0*. 

discover the occasion of .his death, threw 
her again into fits of doubt and consterna- 
tion; and the hours that she passed in 
her chamber, expecting every moment 
some confirmation of her fears, were the 
Just portion of one immersed like herself 
in blackest guilt. 

The morning was not far advanced, 
when a mingled commotion, and confu- 
sion of voices, pervaded the castle ; the 
terrors of conscious criminality prevented 
her from rising to inquire the cause* 
Fainting, almost dying, she awaited the 
result, while cold drops of agony gemmed 
her writhing brow. At length a l6ud 
knocking at her chamber door caused 
her to start from her seatr the blood ftew 
into her lately pallid cheeks, and as sud- 
denly rushed back to her heart, leaving, 
them again of a livid paleness. The 
knocking continued: more dead than 

alive, 



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ZOFLOYA; OR, THE MOOR. 288 

alive, she tottered to the door, and opened 
it; various persons, domestics in the cas- 
tle, burst into the room y strong dismay 
painted on their faces, and with loud 
lamentation exclaimed, that the body qf 
the Cente was missing II 




END OF VOLUMI II, 



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8 l 



LATELY PUBLISHED BY LONGMAN AND GO. 

Revolution. To a Narrative of the Life of ait esti- 
mable writer, is added a View of the brilliant Lite- 
rary Societies of Paris before the close of the French 
monarchy, and of the first scenes of that awful tra- 
gedy which Europe still contemplates, as it pro- 
eeeds, with increasing apprehension. The style of 
the Work is also not less attractive than its matter; 
it is eloquent, flowing, and easily inclines, in pur- 
suing the course of events, either to the ludicrous or 
the pathetic. We again find, in this production, 
the manner which charmed us in the Author's 
early Tales." ~ 

" Wehere terminate our review of this very amus- 
ing and instructive book, which, to the merit of 
truth, adds all the graces and attractions of a work 
of fancy." — Monthly Review, Nov. and Dec. 1805. 

" We are not sure that we have perused any 
book, since the commencement of our critical-ca- 
reer, that has afforded us more entertainment than 
these little volumes. They were written in the 
Author's declining years, for the use of his children. 
The narrative is, upon the whole, so gay and airy; 
the tone of sentiment so mild and unassuming, and 
tht; living pictures with which the busiest part of 
the scene is crowded, so full of delicacy, truth, and' 
vivacity, that it is impossible not to be charmed 
with the greater part of the performance. The style 
of these Memoirs frequently reminds us of the A^hor 
•of the Moral Tales; there is much of the same ame- 
nity and delicacy, and the delineation of character 
is to the full as remarkable for nicety of discrimina- 
tion, and lively facility of expression." 

Edinburgh Rkview, Jan. 1806. 



Mercier and. Co. 
Northumberland Court, Strand. 



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